ESA: What has your transition been like from high school to college from an academic and baseball standpoint?
Gerber: Figuring out how to effectively manage my time in order to succeed academically was important for me, and that went pretty smoothly. As far as baseball is concerned, I was helped by seeing other pitchers on my team succeed. When I saw that they were just as good as I was, I knew I could be successful as well.
ESA: What have been your keys to success since you have arrived to campus?
Gerber: Making smart choices has been a key to my success since arriving to campus. What you do off the field impacts what you do on the field, and if you do the right things you will be successful.
ESA: Explain the demands of being a college baseball player while going to school?
Gerber: Playing college baseball takes up a lot of time, especially at the Division I level. There are times when your body is going to be tired from the time you spend working to get better, so it is especially important to have both a strong work ethic and good time management skills.
ESA: What is the biggest difference from high school to college baseball?
Gerber: The biggest difference is definitely the speed of the game. Players are faster, pitchers throw harder, and balls are hit farther. That goes for both your team and the opposing team, so in the end it comes down to how well you compete.
ESA: What drives you?
Gerber: I just love to pitch, and I try to enjoy every moment. It’s an amazing experience to be able to play baseball for a school like Illinois. There will come a time when I won’t be playing the game any longer, so I think it’s important to appreciate the opportunities I have. When I have that mindset I also perform better.
ESA: What is your best piece of advice you could give to high school baseball players who want to play in college?
Gerber: Go to a school you would enjoy even if you couldn’t play baseball there. Even if you love the baseball aspect of college, it won’t make up for not liking the school you go to.
ESA: Do you have a defining moment you remember on the field where you felt the emotions of, “wow, this is incredible?”
Gerber: It would definitely be my first collegiate appearance. We were playing in New Orleans against Tulane—ranked 19th at the time. I faced the heart of the order and ended up striking out 2 hitters in one scoreless inning of relief. It was something I’ll never forget.
ESA: How did Elite help you get to where you are at?
Gerber: Without the help of Justin Musil and Elite I would not be playing where I am today. Justin has a wide range of contacts, and he opened doors in the baseball world that I would not have been able to open myself.
ESA: How did the Elite service help you maximize your exposure and offers?
Gerber: I was late to the recruiting process, but that didn’t stop Elite from finding a school that was a good fit for me both academically and athletically.