So I guess Will Roberts wasn’t spending all his time last summer on the beach, after all.
When I went to Cape Cod in July to talk with a handful of returning University of Virginia baseball players for an article about summer ball for the Charlottesville paper, Roberts was one of the first to admit that yes, the beach was a daily diversion.
But he was working on his pitching, too.
Roberts threw the first 9-inning perfect game in school history on Tuesday and became just the eighth NCAA Division I pitcher to accomplish the feat since 1957.
Tall and sandy-haired, Roberts looked like an extra from the numerous movies that have documented life in the Cape Cod League, but he was working on his game there, too. This is what he told me:
Coming in I wanted to work on my two-seam fastball, getting that to sink more. And also a sharper slider. I think I’ve been successful with both of those so far. Those are really helpful in the college game because those two pitches are a lot tougher to lift.
Roberts also talked about how pitchers in the Cape Cod league can be a little more dominant, since the players use wood bats, which means broken bats to pitchers who like to work inside. In the college game, with aluminum bats, even the best pitches can sometimes become seeing-eye singles.
But Roberts avoided those, and any other kind of single on Tuesday. Take a look at highlights from his game below.