March 31, 2010
Sophomore first baseman Joey DeBernardis was the feature player in the March 31 game program vs. Kent State. The Illinois native covers a number of bases in this short Q&A. Check back all season long as different Penn State baseball players continue to "cover the bases."
Why did you choose Penn State?
JD: After visiting Penn State, I knew it was the right fit for me. Not only is Penn State a good athletic university, it is also great academically. The coaches are a great group to work with and you learn many things from them. Especially with all of their past experiences with baseball, I knew coming here that I would learn a lot more to develop better skills. Also having the opportunity to play at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park is like a dream come true. It's one of the best stadiums in the country and you cannot complain about that.
You were drafted by the Florida Marlins. Talk about that honor and the decision you had to make in choosing whether to play collegiate baseball or sign professionally.
JD: It was very exciting to be drafted by the Marlins. I was honored to be drafted, but knew that coming to school would be the best choice for me in the end. I knew that by coming to school, I would get some more experience and better develop my skills.
What do you like to do outside of baseball and why?
JD: Outside of baseball, I just like to relax at home. Usually after practice or games, I am pretty tired so coming home to relax and watch TV sounds pretty good. Also, living with five other guys on the team, there is something you can usually be doing to keep yourself entertained. Video games are a big part of our house and they usually get pretty competitive.
How special will this weekend be to play in your home state of Illinois?
JD: Going to Illinois this upcoming weekend will be special since I will get to see some of my family that I haven't seen for a while. For some of my family that will be there, the last time they have seen me play was in high school, so I'm excited for them to watch. I also have a couple friends on the University of Illinois, so it will be nice to see them too.
Talk about your first season as a full-time starter. How have you transitioned into that role?
JD: So far, the season has been going well. I really like it over at first base. I'm getting use to each guy's throws and what to expect from each player. Last year, I would get a few at-bats here and there, so it was much harder to come off the bench and jump into the game. But either way, I'm just thankful for the opportunity to go out and play the game.