By Josh Smith, Contributing Writer
In his first season with the WLU’s baseball team in 2013, head coach Eric Burkle was looking to rebuild the Toppers’ baseball program after the loss of Bo McConnaughy, who coached the Toppers for nearly 30 years. In the five seasons prior to Coach Burkle’s tenure, Topper baseball had a significant span of below .500 seasons, going 60-162. Burkle knew if he wanted to turn their bad luck around, he needed to recruit solid pitchers. One of his first pitching commitments was Sean Pare.
Pare grew up in a small northern-Connecticut town called Suffield, and he went to Suffield High School. Not only did he excel in the classroom, he dominated on the baseball diamond as well. As a high school pitcher, Pare was All-Conference twice and was honorably mentioned as an All-New-England (All-Region) player his senior year. Later in his senior year, he went on to set his high school’s record for the most strikeouts in a season.
“My recruiting process was a very long process,” Pare said. “I started to talk to schools in the fall and actually almost signed with two other schools. I got contacted by Coach in December and went for a visit. After seeing the cost of the school and the type of program Coach Burkle was running, I knew it was the right choice for me.”
Pare began his freshman season quite slow, only winning three of twelve games, but since then, he has sported a record of 15-11, with a total of 81 strikeouts. Pare is already beginning this season on a good note as he recently won against Chowan University.
“If I had to choose one thing I’d want my teammates to remember me by, I hope they remember me as the type of leader that brought everyone together, and took part in creating great team chemistry during my years here,” Pare said.
Head coach Burkle said, “Sean has become an invaluable member of this team. He was thrown straight into the fire as a freshman and has grown to be one of the best pitchers in the Mountain East Conference. Once he figured out what it takes to be a college athlete he has worked extremely hard to get what he has earned to this point.”
Four years of college definitely go by very quickly, and Pare is in his final stretch of his collegiate career on and off the field; however, he is staying positive and is looking forward to accomplishing his goals and aspirations after he graduates.
Pare, a finance major, hopes to become an analyst in Pittsburgh, or somewhere on the East Coast. For stats and schedules, log onto hilltoppersports.com and grab next week’s issue of the Trumpet for game previews and more player profiles.
Photo credit: hilltoppersports.com