After serving as a starter and reliever last season, Porter will be used almost exclusively as a starting pitcher this year. (Samuel Joseph/The Ram)
J.C. Porter: Fordham was actually one of the first schools that recruited me, Division I wise. I really had a connection with the coaching staff. It was important to me to play close to home so my family and friends could come and watch me pitch. And like I reiterated, Fordham was one of the first to recruit me, it was important to be close to home and have my family involved. Fordham brought a lot of those aspects in.
TFR: How long you have you been playing baseball?
JP: Since I was about four or five years old. My dad was my little league coach and T-ball coach growing up. I think that’s kind of a cliché to say he was always with me, playing catch with your dad in the backyard, but I think that’s kind of true.
TFR: How long have you been pitching?
JP: I didn’t start pitching until my junior year of high school after I really failed at batting and everything else. So pitching was kind of like the next step, the next progression for me baseball-wise. I pitched really well my junior year in high school and my career kind of picked up from there.
TFR: Is there a big difference approaching pitching when you’re a reliever versus being a starter?
JP: I think when you’re starting there’s a lot of preparation in terms of preparing for a start, getting a routine together. It’s really a seven day schedule. Especially in college, pitching once a week as a starter. You really have to prepare for your start, bullpen sessions, getting focused and scouting reports on the hitters. As a reliever you might pitch any day. So you’re always ready to go, always ready to get your name called and get loose.
TFR: What is it like being in the bullpen on days when you’re a reliever or days you’re not starting?
JP: On days I’m not pitching, there are definitely some shenanigans going on. There’s a lot of bullpen games, passing time, play stories. We’ve got a really interesting group over in the bullpen the past three or four years that have been here. I’ve heard some pretty remarkable stories, some of which I probably can’t say. But it’s been great; it’s a good group of guys we’ve got in there. It’s always fun being in the bullpen.
TFR: What’s it feel like being a senior?
JP: Being a senior, it’s definitely like a final chapter to what’s been pretty much a fantastic career here at Fordham. I think that being a senior there’s definite responsibility of trying to help get the younger guys acclimated to playing and just pass on some of the knowledge and trying to be a leader on the team.
TFR: Is that something you’ve actively tried to do this year? Because there aren’t a lot of seniors on the team.
JP: Yeah, there are only seven seniors. On the pitching staff, there are only three. It’s really important for us to go out there and try to set a good example for the younger guys.
TFR: Do you have any goals for this year?
JP: For this year, our main goal is to make it to the Atlantic 10 championship. And I think that’s something that we, as a squad collectively, are striving for and are working hard to attain.
TFR: Do you have any plans for after graduation?
JP: After graduation, I’m just hoping to get a good job.