Puyallup Vikings senior baseball player Tyler McDowell’s life will change drastically this summer.
McDowell, who is committed to the Washington State University baseball program, will enroll in three summer school sessions in Pullman in July before taking part in fall baseball workouts with the Cougars. McDowell is excited about playing baseball at the Division I level.
“I will be a two-way player. I probably won’t start as a pitcher my freshman year,” McDowell said. “The WSU coaches want me to work on my mechanics, so I probably won’t pitch until my sophomore year. I’m hoping to challenge for a starting spot in the field and in the lineup my freshman year. I’m looking forward to it.”
McDowell struggled at the plate during the 2014 regular season before Vikings’ head coach Marc Wiese advised him to make a simple adjustment that made all the difference in the world.
“Coach Wiese noticed that I was jamming myself inside, so he told to scoot just an inch or two off the plate. Ever since then I have been able to fully get my hands extended; just get to the ball and really hit it,” he said.
Wiese knew it was a matter of time until McDowell came around at the plate.
“I told Tyler to just be great in May (playoff baseball games), and he has been,” Wiese said.
The Vikings finished the 2014 season with an overall record of 28-0 and won the first state baseball championship in school history.
Recently The Herald had an opportunity to ask McDowell a few questions about his life away from the baseball diamond.
The Herald: Where is your dream vacation spot?
Tyler McDowell: It’s a place I have already been to. It’s called Echo Lake. It’s up in the mountains and you have to hike seven miles up to get there. It’s a beautiful little lake with a bunch of trout. I just like to go fly fishing and camping there.
TH: What is your biggest pet peeve?
TM: I don’t really have any pet peeves. I just roll with the flow.
TH: What is your favorite TV show?
TM: I would have to say ‘Big Bang Theory.’ I’m kind of a science guy and all the guys on the show are super funny. Watching all of their experiments and how they go about things is fun to watch.
TH: What is something unique about you that nobody would know?
TM: I can solve the Rubik’s Cube. I used to be able to do in under two minutes, but I’m probably a little rusty now.
TH: If you could pick one person to go to dinner with, who would it be?
TM: Adam Sandler. I love all of his movies. He is super funny.
TH: Where do you see yourself in five years?
TM: I want to see myself drafted in the high rounds (of the Major League Baseball Draft), and see myself working my way up to the big leagues.
Shaun Scott: 253-552-7002 shaun.scott @puyallupherald.com Twitter: @herald_shaun