Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post - Athens, OH
The independent newspaper covering campus and community since 1911.
The Post

Alex Finney (15) watches an at-bat from the dugout on April 14, 2023. | Photo by Ashley Beach 

Baseball: How patience helped Alex Finney find his role at Ohio

Baseball players need a lot of patience. It's easy to fall into a habit of anticipating where the ball will go, but it's not always easy to anticipate how a season will go. 

Alex Finney was set to have a larger role for the Bobcats in 2022. He planned to spend more time behind the plate and take on more responsibility in the dugout. However, his plans changed once he tore his labrum. 

Finney was lost. He wasn't sure what his role was anymore. He'd primarily been a catcher for the Bobcats, and he couldn't be that with a torn labrum. Finney's junior year started slipping away until he realized he could still hit.  

"I wasn't able to play defensively but I was fortunate enough to get in the line up with my bat and it was good to finally feel like I was contributing to the team," Finney said. 

The Oxford, Michigan, native slid into a designated hitter role for the rest of the season. It wasn't exactly where Finney pictured himself at the beginning of the season, but he was still in the lineup. He played in 30 of 53 games that season. 

The recovery process was long and Finney found himself frustrated at times. He wanted to be at full strength, but he knew that it would only be harder to get there if he rushed his timeline. Finney was happy to do his part as a designated hitter; however, it pained him to know that he could do more but needed to be patient. He needed to wait for his body to heal.

Since he wasn't able to practice as a catcher, Ohio coach Craig Moore threw Finney into the infield to take reps. It wasn't unfamiliar territory for the senior, but it had been a while since he faced the stands and not the outfield wall. 

"I actually came in as a catcher and second baseman, "Finney said, "But when I came here as a freshman we had, I think like five or six middle infielders, so they just stuck me stuck me behind the plate, which (I) was totally fine with." 

Finney was Ohio's bullpen catcher his freshman year. That was all he knew with Ohio across his chest until those few practices last season. 

Moore and assistant coach Kirby McGuire took notice of Finney in the infield. There was something about the utility player that piqued their interest. So, they decided to give Finney a shot at second base during the third game of the 2023 season — Ohio's beatdown of Navy. 

Finney welcomed the challenge. He talked with Moore and McGuire about his new role and the responsibility of being a utility player. For Finney, it was refreshing to finally have more responsibility after a rough few seasons.  

"Not everyone gets to come out and play multiple positions and be relied on by the team for different roles, so it definitely is a good feeling," Finney said. "There's some anxiety and pressure behind it at times, but it's definitely a good feeling to have those emotions." 

On Friday nights, Finney can be found in the middle infield, and at some point in the series, he can also be found behind the plate. It's a unique job that Finney didn't know he'd have until it was offered to him. 

Finney had what he feels is a slow start to the season, but he's gotten back into the groove. It helps to know that he has a strong support system behind him.

"I feel like now I'm really starting to pick it up and kind of play the game, "Finney said. "I know I can play in that my team and the coaching staff feels as though I can live up to it.

Finney finally feels that he's contributing to the team, and he wouldn't have it any other way. He enjoys getting to be on the field with his teammates each weekend. All of the ups and downs were worth it for him. 

Finney may have had to wait a little longer than he liked to get there, but good things come to those who wait. 


Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2024 The Post, Athens OH