Adam Cheek, Staff Writer
Senior infielder Paul Witt returns for a final year on the Rams’ baseball roster Friday, having put together three seasons in the field and at the plate.
Witt, who primarily plays second base, is part of a large returning class that includes stalwart senior infielders Brett Norwood and Steven Carpenter. He’s bounced all around the infield, playing shortstop and second base his freshman year, third base his sophomore season and moving back to second for his junior and senior years.
“I’m definitely just getting back in the swing of things with my team,” Witt said. “I think we have something special. … I’m definitely excited to do what we can do and try and win a championship again.”
The veteran racked up career numbers during the 2019 season, recording 75 hits and four home runs with a batting average of .336. Witt also put up career highs with 50 RBI and nine stolen bases, playing in all 58 of VCU’s contests.
Born in Long Island and having moved to West Virginia growing up, Witt started playing at a young age. His older sister played softball and his father coached, so he would go to their practices when he was just 2 years old.
“[Baseball] was definitely something I always loved from the start,” Witt said. “I basically just started off from … 4 years old ’til now.”
Memorable moments at VCU abound for Witt, including walk-off hits against George Mason and George Washington in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
Despite those highlights, Witt says his favorite experience has been being part of the Rams organization.
“Last year was just an awesome year,” he said. “Despite the end of the season, last year’s team was just awesome. Everyone meshed together. We all just had a great time.”
Witt hopes to continue his presence on the diamond after college but has backup plans for when his time with baseball comes to an end.
“I’m definitely going to try and play baseball as long as I can,” he said. “If I’m fortunate to be able to get drafted and play professional baseball, I will play that as long as I can. But when baseball’s done, I’d probably try and pursue my career in real estate and getting my real estate license or becoming an FBI agent.”
The infielder, who was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Conference team at second base, says those awards mean a lot, especially in the long run.
“They’ll mean something next year, they’ll mean something the year after,” he said. “It’s definitely something that I get to look back on and be proud of myself and enjoy what I did, but it’s also a motivation tool.”
Reflecting on his career with his final season approaching, Witt says playing for the Rams taught him the importance of hard work and being in tune with the game itself.
“Everything means something and matters,” he said. “Whenever I’m in practice or on a game, I have to do that one thing 100% correctly in practice, understanding the game, and that’s one thing coach Stiff really taught me well is to really be diligent on details.”