By Andrew Gordo
Cal Poly Pomona baseball has a real MVP.
This year, junior outfielder Michael Zidek was crowned the Most Valuable Player at the California Collegiate Athletic Association tournament.
After a consistent performance during the regular season, Zidek followed it up in the conference tournament and helped the Broncos capture their first conference title in the program’s history.
Zidek, who graduated from Wilson High School in Long Beach, first became interested in baseball after his father’s influence.
“My dad has always been a huge baseball fan,” said Zidek. “I’ve been a huge Cubs fan my whole life. That is when I first fell in love with the game, and I’ve been playing since I was able to pick up a bat.”
From the time he first picked up a ball to playing on Scolinos Field, his appreciation for the game has grown even stronger.
“I think I’ve always loved the game, ” said Zidek. “You play for the love of the game, and as I got older, I developed a good brotherhood with my teammates.”
He made his first appearance for the Broncos back in 2013 as a freshman, where he played in five games and went 1-for-7.
In his sophomore season, he saw more action. He appeared in 18 games and started in four of them.
That year, Zidek went 10-for-25 with a .400 batting average and added one RBI.
This past season, however, Zidek had a much larger role.
As an every-game starter for 52 games he put up consistent numbers, including a batting average of .283, one home run, 54 hits, and 27 RBIs.
Zidek touched on what he thought really helped his game improve from his freshman to his junior year.
“I think it was just the maturity of the game,” said Zidek.
“With more experience, you know what to do in different situations.”
Zidek showed that maturity and experience level during the conference playoffs.
In the tournament, he went 5-for-10, scored a run and also had one RBI.
But the playoffs are not just about one player; they are about the whole team.
Zidek enjoyed the buildup and win for the CCAA title.
“It was awesome,” said Zidek. “I’ve never been a part of anything more great in my life. It was a great time. I’m just happy to do that for my school, and happy that we could accomplish that as a team.”
After the game and the championship victory, Zidek was named to the all-tournament team and crowned the MVP of the tournament.
“I was obviously very happy,” said Zidek. “I wasn’t expecting it at all. It was more of a team effort. Great, great defense. I have to attribute it more to those guys. They kept us in the game all year, and it’s been awesome watching them work.
“I was just happy to have a good series seeing the ball well and I’m just happy to do something for the team.”
Hayden Yi / The Poly Post
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