Nick Rumbelow Strives for Excellence
For LSU baseball, the expectation every year is Omaha or bust. After a disappointing ending to the 2012 team, Nick Rumbelow's goal of 2013 was to help his team get back to Omaha, the site of the NCAA College World Series.
The last time Tiger fans saw the junior, Rumbelow pitched 2.1 innings of relief against Oregon State in the Baton Rouge Regional that anchored LSU to a rousing comeback and advanced the team to the school's ninth Super Regional appearance. The impressive outing was a springboard for an optimistic outlook for the 2013 season.
"You look for that big outing in the season and fortunately mine was the last of the season," Rumbelow said. "It's good because it helped me build for the rest of the summer and sent me off to going to the Cape Cod League and pitching there."
Expectations for Rumbelow swelled after his last outing and throughout fall practice. Many penciled in Rumbelow as the Sunday closer or even the starter. A torn Quadratus Lamborum ultimately made a long wait for opening weekend even longer.
"I was warming in the bullpen and felt a little tweak in my side. I went out and threw the inning but it was cut short because I was hurt," Rumbelow said. "I was trying to see if I could pitch through it but it was obvious I couldn't."
Through rehabilitation with LSU trainers, Rumbelow made his first appearance of the season two weeks later against the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. While it was disappointing not being able to start opening weekend, the East Texas native looked at the season in a different way.
"It was tough. You anticipate the start of the season after working all summer, fall and winter break. You do realize that there are 56 games and you don't want to push yourself too far and play in one game but miss 55," Rumbelow said. "I'd rather sit out the first two weekends and then make the push for Omaha."
After missing the first two weekends of the season, Rumbelow has kept a positive outlook through it all and his goals are ultimately for the team.
"I'm a real team-oriented guy. I think my goals start with the team and if we achieve the team goals then my goals have been attained."
While Rumbelow's fights back into a starter or closer roll, the bullpen has filled in nicely since his injury. Rumbelow knows that this is the best way to achieve the overall goal of getting back to Omaha.
"The first two weekends we had guys step up and share the role. Obviously we have a lot of talent and good arms on our team," Rumbelow said. "There's a place for every single guy on this pitching staff and I'll fit in somewhere too. Whether it's closing or starting, only time will tell."
While baseball may be why Rumbelow came to LSU, being successful in the area of academics will always be one of the most important things to him. The 2012 SEC Academic Honor Roll member looks to continue his success off the field for the remainder of his career.
"I take a lot of pride in being on the SEC Academic Honor Roll. I came here, as a student athlete and I want to be the best at everything I do," Rumbelow said. "Whether it's washing dishes or cleaning my room, I want to be the best. I take that same attitude to school. I want to do and excel on and off the field because I believe that shows character."