With a 7-0 season record thus far, including a nearly 8-inning no-hitter under his belt, it should come as no surprise that sophomore pitcher Riley Ornido has caught the attention of the West Coast Conference (WCC) and was named Rawlings West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Week on April 9. These honors came exactly one week after teammate and Dons catcher Riley Helland earned WCC honors as Player of the Week, marking two consecutive weeks of conference recognition for Dons. Ornido’s feats on the mound are surely something to be marveled at – and he’s only getting started.
When did you know that baseball was going to be your sport? Was there a particular moment you can recall?
RO: Since I was young, I was always told I have a lot of potential, but was never able to quite put it together, like in high school and even my freshman year at USF. This is really the first year where I have been a factor in how my team does, and that drives me to be my best because I want to win for all of my teammates.
What do you most enjoy about the game?
RO: I enjoy learning as much about the game as possible. People don’t realize it, but there is always a specific reason that pitchers throw a certain pitch depending on the batter, the situation and what we want to try to get out of the situation. For instance, a big strikeout can keep runners from advancing, a double can help get two quick outs when we have the option and a quick inning can keep the momentum up in the dugout when the offense puts up a big inning.
How did you find out that you were WCC Player/Pitcher of the Week?
RO: Instagram, haha.
What’s been your biggest personal goal on the field here at USF?
RO: My biggest goal is to help my team win a West Coast Conference title.
What’s been the proudest moment of the season so far?
RO: My proudest moment is seeing how well the whole team has been doing, considering the fact that there are a lot of new faces that do not have a lot of experience playing at the D1 level.
Featured Photo: Ornido’s stellar season on the mound has not gone unnoticed. CHRIS M. LEUNG PHOTOGRAPHY