Balancing act: CCA’s Osetkowski juggles two sports
Playing two sports year-round while excelling academically at one of Carmel Valley’s most demanding high schools doesn’t leave Cory Osetkowski much time to rest.
“It’s definitely physically tiring and emotionally tiring,” said Osetkowski, who just finished his junior year at Canyon Crest Academy, where he starred on the baseball and basketball teams while maintaining a 3.64 GPA.
“I’m constantly tired, but it’s all good,” he said. “It’s keeping me in really good shape.”
If he has his way, Osetkowski will take the exhaustion factor to another level.
Although he prefers baseball’s more deliberate pace, he loves to mix it up on the basketball court and admits it will be hard to give up either sport in college.
The 6-foot-9 Osetkowski led the Ravens basketball team in scoring and rebounding last season, averaging 12.6 points and 8.1 boards.
He followed that with baseball season as the Raven’s No. 2 pitcher. Osetkowski went 4-3 with a 2.98 ERA, combining with staff ace Matt Malott (6-2, 1.42 ERA) for a formidable 1-2 punch that led the Ravens to their first and last Coastal League South title (they’ll play in the Valley League next season).
He’s been playing both sports since he was five.
“If I can, I’ll play both in college,” Osetkowski said.
But Osetkowski knows he might not have that option, and he acknowledged all signs as of right now are pointing to baseball.
Although he’s more of an impact player today in basketball, he’s thought to have more upside in baseball because of his imposing stature. His sudden development, which he credits to working with a private instructor, has catapulted him to prospect status in short order.
Osetkowski commands three pitches (a fastball, a curveball and a changeup). He credits mechanical adjustments he made under the tutelage of Poway pitching guru Dom Johnson with a significant velocity boost.
“He has the ability to throw three pitches for strikes, which not too many kids his age can do, and the perceived velocity that comes out, because he’s so tall and how close he gets to the plate, really sticks out as well,” CCA coach Ryan Sienko said.
Although basketball and baseball draw on different skill sets, Osetkowski said the athleticism he’s developed from playing two sports benefits him in both.
“Basketball has always been a passion for me and it keeps me in shape, so once I get into baseball (season) I’m in really good shape,” he said. “Each sport helps out the other.”
Osetkowski’s fastball tops out in the mid-80 mph range, Sienko said, noting he expects his velocity to improve once he fills out.
“When he grows into that body, the velocity’s going to come,” said Sienko, noting that Osetkowski has already attracted the attention of college scouts.
“The more he throws the better he’s going to be and the more we put him in pressure situations the better he’s going to be.”
Osetkowski still has at least another year playing both sports at CCA and this year he’ll play basketball alongside his younger brother Dylan.
Dylan Osetkowski, 13, is already 6-1 and for now plans to play basketball only. He figures to grow taller than his older brother, who said he experienced a seven-inch growth spurt between his sophomore and junior years.
The Osetkowski brothers have already played three games together in a summer league tournament in June, an experience Cory counts among his career highlights.
Osetkowski’s development in his first year on the varsity team was a welcome surprise to the Ravens, especially considering he joined the team late after finishing basketball, Sienko said.
Osetkowski has helped in the leadership department too, Sienko said.
Sienko said he will be the team’s No. 1 starting pitcher next season.
“He’s such a quiet kid,” Sienko said. “He doesn’t say a lot, but what he does say is helpful to everybody. He’s such a good kid and good student, it’s nice to have good people along with good ballplayers.”