After a successful baseball season for the University of La Verne, senior outfielder Jacob Ludvik thinks of one response while packing his bags and traveling to Oregon for the NCAA Tournament: We did it.
Ludvik has numerous reasons to be proud of his achievements. A movement and sports science major with a 3.94 grade point average, he also earned a .405 batting average on the field.
“A lot of people have been supportive,” Ludvik said. “My hard work is finally showing.”
His balanced schedule of academics and sports has also allowed him to be named in the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District 8 Team.
Along with being represented in the All-Southern California Intercollegiate Conference baseball team, Ludvik earned All-Conference and All-Regional honors last year and was named All-Conference this year.
Setting those personal achievements aside, Ludvik said he was proud to continue to make history with the team, earning their 20th SCIAC title. The memory of beating the Whittier Poets is still fresh in his mind, from jumping into the dog pile after the shutout.
“It was just a fun grind, winning,” Ludvik said. “There were good and bad games, but earning something that we worked so hard for is crazy.”
When Ludvik was a child, he said his father introduced him to every sport. Although he developed an interest in golf and surfing, Ludvik knew baseball was the right choice.
“I do not know how to explain it,” Ludvik said. “Baseball is definitely my sport.”
His passion for the sport had everyone notice him while he was competing at Diamond Bar High School, even ULV head coach Scott Winterburn. He said it was his consistency of being tough was what made him stood out.
“He was always good for skills,” Winterburn said. “He would be the first guy to bunt, dive for the ball and give up his body for the team.”
Ludvik’s legacy at ULV would have to wait when he went to Citrus College in 2008. That was where he met Matt Baudino, a ULV graduate and former teammate. On or off the field, Baudino said Ludvik maintained an attitude that everyone enjoyed. He said he also admired how Ludvik was always present to help out his friends.
“The kid was someone you could not help but like,” Baudino said.
Winterburn said Ludvik made a strong impact from his first day of joining the ULV baseball team in 2010.
“It is his energy that I will remember most about him,” Winterburn said. “He is a guy that shows up and the mood changes.”
His influence made more of an impact on junior catcher Jason Moralez. When the team needed a leader, Moralez said Ludvik accepted that position.
“He is a hard working guy,” Moralez said. “He was not afraid to make changes that would be best for the team.”
Ludvik hopes to enroll in a physical therapy school at either Cal State Long Beach or Azusa Pacific University. Regardless, he said he enjoyed his time at La Verne.
“I know it is a cliché, but it went too fast,” Ludvik said. “Making friends here was special and I am pretty thankful for everyone.”
Alex Forbess can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.