San Diego City College infielder Jacob Pfitzner prepares to throw to first base during practice at Morley Field Thursday, May 2, 2024. Photo by Danny Straus/City Times Media
San Diego City College infielder Jacob Pfitzner prepares to throw to first base during practice at Morley Field Thursday, May 2, 2024. Photo by Danny Straus/City Times Media

City College baseball player ends time on campus with historic season

Jacob Pfitzner led the state with 19 home runs

San Diego City College baseball player Jacob Pfitzner finished his time on campus with one of the best seasons in school history.

According to the California Community College Athletic Association, his 19 home runs led the state and are tops in City’s school history for a single season since 2000 (when digital records were first kept). 

Although he ended his time at City as a star baseball slugger, Pfitzner started his college career playing basketball at Cuyamaca College.

Self-described as “165 pounds soaking wet,” Pfitzner redshirted his freshman year, as he needed to work on his body to acclimate to college athletics. 

After his redshirt season, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, giving the infielder time to transform his body.

“I wasn’t the strongest or biggest kid, so I was way better at basketball, in my opinion,” Pfitzner said. “Then COVID happened and I had nothing else to do besides lift weights. I put on about 50-60 (pounds) and then got to 240 and then I was like, basketball isn’t it anymore.”

After redefining his body, Pfitzner contemplated switching to baseball, a sport he excelled at in high school. 

City College head baseball coach Chris Brown was alerted by Pfitzner’s high school coach of his transformation, putting him on City’s radar. 

“He was recommended to me by some coaches out in El Cap that (said) ‘Hey, there’s this big strong guy playing basketball (at) Cuyamaca but we’re not sure that’s his direction’,”  Brown said. 

San Diego City College infielder Jacob Pfitzner, left, celebrates with teammates and coaches after a run scored against Mesa College at Morley Field Friday, April 19, 2024. Photo by Danny Straus/City Times Media

After Pfitzner gained more strength and officially opened up his recruitment, coach Brown saw an opportunity for him to shine at City. 

“He redshirted, so he went to Cuayamaca to play basketball but wasn’t playing and was a big hitter in high school,” Coach Brown said. “So I went after him aggressively to say ‘let’s change careers, colleges and athletic paths’.”

“I had coach Brown’s number through a mutual contact from high school,” Pfitzner said. “After speaking to him, I only wanted to go to City.”

After their mutual admiration for each other came to fruition, Pfitzner came to City looking for a fresh start.

His transition took time, as he wasn’t a full-time starter in his first year at City. He only received 60 at-bats in his first year, but homered in five, showing his potential. 

Pfitzner fully committed to baseball training that off-season, setting himself up for a historic sophomore season.

“Just being able to trust myself and having a full year to train for baseball all the time really helped me grow,” he said. “I didn’t really play summer ball in the past.”

“And then, I just came out here with the expectation of doing my job in the fourth spot and driving those runs,” he said. “Everything I hit hard usually goes out anywhere.”

That translated to having a monster sophomore season for Pfitzner, totaling 19 home runs in 42 games. 

According to Coach Brown, these were not home runs barely over the fence. 

“Not only did he hit 19 home runs, but he hit 19 home runs that weren’t cheap,” coach Brown said. “You know, he hit balls I’ve never seen hit as far as he did.”

Pfitzner will be continuing his career on scholarship at Westcliff University in Irvine. Beyond his time there, Pfitzner sees his baseball career continuing past college.

“I definitely see myself playing professional baseball,” he said. “I have that confidence to be able to play at that level. Whether that takes me two, three or four years, I do see myself there someday.”

 

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