Sports

A dream come true: Cosgrove commits to play baseball at UW

Kirkland resident Andy Cosgrove dives to make the tag on a Mount Si player during the 2014 Juanita High School baseball postseason. - Contributed photo
Kirkland resident Andy Cosgrove dives to make the tag on a Mount Si player during the 2014 Juanita High School baseball postseason.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Juanita High School graduate Andy Cosgrove has signed on to catch for the University of Washington baseball team after helping the Rebels to one of their best seasons in recent memory.

Like a lot of kids, Cosgrove started out playing catch with his dad in the yard and later played T-ball. Like many kids growing up in the greater Seattle area his baseball hero was Ken Griffey, Jr.

“He played the game the way I think it should be played,” he said.

When he was 14, Cosgrove focused on catching and playing shortstop. In high school, Cosgrove ultimately settled on playing catcher, which he enjoys for the ability to see the overall layout of the game.

“It’s really about vocal leadership and the ability to control people,” he said. “You’re paying attention to everyone on the field. You have to figure out the pitchers and the team and the other team and what they’re focusing on. It’s about talking to people and getting them going on everything.”

Although he played basketball and football in high school, he started concentrating on baseball exclusively.

“I don’t really know what it is, but I love baseball,” he said. “I look forward to it. I enjoy practicing.”

The 2014 season started out rough for the Rebels, losing the majority of their first five games. Cosgrove said things turned around after an impromptu team meeting inspired the players to rally for the remainder of the season and push through the KingCo playoffs. There, they won a string of games by one run, such as their May 14 game against Bellevue, 1-0. During the game, Cosgrove also proved himself to be skilled on the pitcher’s mound, striking out three batters in a row with the bases loaded. They advanced all the way to the KingCo championship, narrowly losing against to Mount Si, 3-2. Cosgrove accounted for two of the Rebel’s four hits during the game. Despite the loss, the Rebels made it all the way to the state championship tournament, losing 1-0 against Lakeside in May. Though they finished 12-12, the finish is one of the best seasons for the Rebels in 15 years.

Cosgrove was also voted to the All-KingCo Second Team, along with third basemen Brad Close. Rebels first baseman Kyler Kedroske and second baseman Michael Petter were voted First Team All-KingCo.

“It was a big season turnaround,” Cosgrove said. “I think we turned a lot of heads.”

Cosgrove’s performance during the playoffs also attracted the attention of assistant coach Donegal Fergus. Initially, Cosgrove was set to play baseball at a community college in California but a call from the Huskies coaching staff several weeks ago changed his plans in a matter of days.

“It was a pretty quick process,” Cosgrove said. “He called me on a Friday, I went down on Monday, and I committed that morning.”

Cosgrove said when he got the offer to catch for the Huskies there wasn’t much to think over.

“When you have the option to play for a big time Pac-12 school, it just seems like, ‘How could you say no?’” he said. “Everything kind of clicked. This is my chance to do what I’ve always wanted to do.”

Cosgrove plans to study business management and organization at the UW, though he said he still dreams of playing professionally in the major leagues.

“Baseball is always the dream, I couldn’t imagine calling it quits,” he said. “If I have the power to play I’m going to play.”

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