By Steve Mims
Trey Newmann was a 5-foot-10 freshman when he entered North Medford High School.
Near the end of his freshman season, he tore his labrum and suffered an injury to his rotator cuff.
Even when he sprouted up to 6-6 as a junior, he wasn’t on the radar of college recruiters.
“Last spring was tough, I didn’t have a great year on the mound,” Newmann said. “We were supposed to be a good team and we did not make the playoffs. There was a lot of confusion because I was supposed to be a good pitcher and we were supposed to be a good team, and nothing worked in our favor.”
Newmann went up to Seattle to play for the Mercedes-Benz baseball club in the summer and found the type of success that got college coaches calling. By the time the season ended in August, he committed to play at the University of Oregon.
“It really felt like a zero-to-hero moment, kind of cool,” Newmann said. “I went from nobody in a sense to achieving all of my dreams. It was a steady, uphill slope and I am super blessed.”
Before he joins the Ducks in the fall, Newmann will spend his summer playing for the Springfield Drifters in the West Coast League, a college wood-bat circuit featuring some of the top players in the country. Springfield opens its second season at Hamlin Field on June 2nd against Port Angeles.
“I am super excited,” said Newmann, who was born and raised in Southern Oregon. “There is a lot of raw talent and a lot of mature guys in that league, so to be 17 and go up against awesome competition will be great.”
Newmann, who will turn 18 when the Drifters visit Walla Walla on July 16th, has become one of the top right-handed pitchers in the Northwest. North Medford is 12-2-1 and ranked fourth in Class 6A this season.
“I am having a pretty good year on the bump and playing in the outfield,” Newmann said. “I have always pitched and played in the field, but I was always fond of pitching since I was about 8-years old. I always knew at the next level I wanted to focus on pitching, but I am blessed to play a position for now and hit in the lineup because I love to play every day. Pitching is my passion and the end game.”
Newmann grew eight inches between his freshman and junior seasons with the Black Tornado.
“It is definitely tough to grow so fast,” he said. “It is tough on the mechanics learning how to adapt at such a young age. It is hard to stay connected with your body, but I don’t think I made any major changes to pitching. It is not like it happened overnight, you kind of ease into it. It has been a huge blessing to say the least. I am not complaining about my height, it played one of the biggest roles in what I have achieved as a player.”
Oregon was the first school to reach out to Newmann last May and then he had a chance to pitch for the Medford Rogues for one game last summer. After playing for Mercedes-Benz and teams in the Area Code games and Baseball Northwest championships, he committed to Oregon coach Mark Wasikowski and pitching coach Jake Angier.
“I loved the honesty that came from Waz and Angier,” Newmann said. “I grew up watching Oregon baseball and felt like it was my best fit. It was hard to turn down a chance to play in my home state and wear the Oregon uniform. It was huge for me to play in my home state, that is all I’ve known so to represent the state is great.”
After battling injuries near the end of his freshman season, Newmann missed seven months of baseball and spent his sophomore yea rehabbing the injury to try and get back to normal. Two years later, he had a college commitment and an opportunity to play in the WCL.
“It all happened in the blink of an eye and it has been very surreal and cool,” he said. “It made my dreams come reality.
Deep down, I always believed I could play at Division I, but to get that opportunity is awesome.”