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Meet Brown’s Olivia Pichardo, First Woman To Play D-I Baseball • D1Baseball

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Brown’s Olivia Pichardo became the first woman to appear in a Division I baseball game (Brown Athletics)

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Remember the name: Olivia Pichardo.

On Friday night, the Brown University freshman became the first female in NCAA history to appear in a Division I baseball game.

Her groundout traveled just about 95 feet.

Years from now, it may seem like 95 miles.

Here’s why: Who knows how much women baseball players will progress in the future? Maybe Pichardo’s groundout to Bryant first baseman Carmine Petosa — who made the play unassisted — is just the beginning of a new source of talent. Maybe her at-bat will be known, historically, as the most significant roller to first since Mookie Wilson to Bill Buckner. We just don’t know.

What we do know is that Pichardo is a legit baseball player, and perhaps her best tool is her arm.

“She throws low 80s off the mound,” Brown coach Grant Achilles said. “Her arm strength has continued to improve, and it’s better than I had anticipated. We’ve had her play right field (in practice and scrimmages).”

Brown center fielder Derian Morphew has also been impressed by Pichardo.

But when he and his teammates first found out she had made the team as a walk-on this past fall, they were curious.

“We just wanted to see her play,” Morphew said. “We wanted to see what she had. We knew that if she made the walk-on tryout, our coaches must have seen something about her that could help us.

“Before she made the team, we only had five outfielders. I didn’t have a throwing partner. When she got here, it was a perfect way to have a throwing partner. So, the first thing I saw her do is throw, and that’s what impressed me the most — how efficiently and accurately she throws the ball.

“Her arm is legit.”

At the plate, Pichardo – who swings from the left side – is a 5-foot-7, 160-pound contact hitter.

She has gained five pounds of muscle since arriving at Brown this past fall, and she feels that added strength will help her drive the ball in the years to come.

“I’m not the player who is going yard every game,” said Pichardo, 19. “I’m someone who finds the gaps.

“This is a game of passing the torch. I try to do my job and set up our next batter for success.”

A native of Queens, New York, Pichardo has been athletic virtually her whole life. She remembers her toddler days, hitting a Wiffle ball with what she calls a “squishy bat.”

Pichardo comes from an athletic family. Her father, Max, who is from the Dominican Republic, grew up playing baseball, of course. Her mother, Monita, played high school basketball.

In addition, Olivia’s sister, Nirvana, plays high school volleyball. But Olivia inherited her father’s passion for baseball.

Said Max: “When I was a little kid, I didn’t have much, but I was obsessed with baseball. I would rather play baseball than eat.”

After the Pichardos had their two daughters, Max said he was in for a shock.

“I didn’t envision I would be a baseball dad,” he said. “But it worked out that way, and I couldn’t be happier.”

Olivia Pichardo played high school basketball and volleyball at Garden School in Queens. She also played club baseball for New York Crush and Next Level.

This past summer, she competed for USA Baseball’s Women’s National Team. She also competed at several college baseball camps, although not at Brown.

After getting accepted academically by Brown, she emailed Achilles, sending him her baseball highlight videos.

Pichardo and a male player were the two players competing to make the team on walk-on tryout day this past fall.

Only Pichardo made the team.

“She had a great try-out,” Achilles said. “She had confidence in her style as a contact player who can put the ball in play. She runs hard and is a solid defender.”

This past year, Pichardo and the rest of the Brown team traveled to the Dominican Republic, where they played three games during Christmas week, facing the Dominican Army, the National Police and a semi-pro team managed by the father of Robinson Cano.

During the games, Pichardo said she heard fans yell out to her in English and in Spanish.

“They were yelling, ‘Girl!’ or ‘I love you.’ It was wild,” Pichardo said. “It was a lot of fun.”

In one of those games, Pichardo went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles, boosting her confidence.

The Brown team returned home on Jan. 1, and its season started on Feb. 24.

Pichardo’s season, however, didn’t start right away. She didn’t make Brown’s travel roster – which is limited in size due to Ivy League rules – and she had to wait until the Bears’ home opener on March 17 to make her debut.

Max Pichardo was there for the home opener, not thinking his daughter – who is a freshman walk-on after all – would get a chance to play. Max would’ve been content just to see his kid warming up before the game in an actual Brown uniform.

Olivia Pichardo receives a word of encouragement before her first at-bat (Brown Athletics)

But, in the ninth inning, the friends Max was sitting with let out a roar.

A loud roar.

“They scared the crap out of me,” Max said. “I asked them: ‘What happened? Are the Russians attacking?’”

Quite the opposite.

Max’s friends yelled because they had spotted Pichardo walk to the on-deck circle, swinging a bat. Moments later, the announcer said:

“Now batting for Brown, No. 19, Olivia Pichardo.”

With her long dark hair cascading down her back and her red batting gloves, Pichardo stood out as she took her practice swings.

Bryant righthander M.T. Morrissey then fired an upper-80s fastball. Pichardo made sharp contact, but Petosa scooped up the grounder and trotted to first for the putout.

Max said he wasn’t as outwardly emotional as he would have thought during his daughter’s big moment.

“I had pictured myself crying like a maniac,” Max said. “But I calmly videotaped her at-bat. It was surreal.”

Max said it was frigid that night – in the mid-to-low-40s – and he worried about Olivia coming in cold to face a pitcher after having sat for nine innings.

But, Max said, he was impressed by his daughter’s approach, swinging at a pitch that was down the middle rather than letting that opportunity pass.

After the game, Max took his daughter to her favorite restaurant, Longhorn, where they each enjoyed a juicy steak.

“The first thing she said was, ‘I was so cold’ (at the plate),” Max said. “She also told me she wanted to make sure she attacked the first pitch that was good instead of hitting from behind in the count.”

Pichardo, who is studying Business/Economics, is considering working toward a post-playing career as a front-office executive for an MLB team.

This past May, she worked an internship with her hometown team, the New York Mets, and she was thrilled that it was a corporate environment but simultaneously relaxed because “they are all sports people.”

In the meantime, Pichardo said she’s had lots of young girls who have reached out to her, asking for advice on their own baseball journeys.

“I play baseball because I love it,” Pichardo said. “But it’s even more motivational to keep going and be the best player I can be because there are young girls who look up to me.

“Sometimes, I forget the position I’m in (as a women’s baseball pioneer). The messages I get from girls are a good reminder of the role I’m playing.”



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The Ouch List: Week Nine • D1Baseball

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Vanderbilt had a head-in-their-hands kind of week.

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NEW YORK — Yo. You freakin’ kiddin’ me here? The tickets on the Pain Train were flying off the shelf this week as we had a wicked-yuge ton of candidates ready to take their seats, but capacity was set at 10 for this bumpy ride so we’ll stick with that number moving forward here. And it’s just as well because I am currently in New York City and like a typical New Yawkah, I’m not in any mood to suffer fools today. If you impede the progress of the Pain Train, you’re quite likely to get a Bronx cheer or[…]

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Mystery Meat! – The Schoch Factor Podcast • D1Baseball

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The Schoch Factor


On this episode of The Schoch Factor Podcast, Stephen Schoch, Jake Mintz and Jordan Shusterman discuss Weekend 9 of the 2024 college baseball season, beginning with Steve’s interesting visit to ECU. On this trip Steve, was able to catch the No. 1 club baseball team in the nation as ECU took on No. 3 NC State. Following that, he headed over to the Charlotte-ECU game, where he found a free chicken tender on the way to the stadium that left Jake with a lot of questions – questions that he gets the answers to on this episode.

Following the free nugget discourse, the guys get into some of the biggest matchups from last week and give a nod to Texas A&M on being the new No. 1 team in the nation. Then we get into some of our favorite moments of the week and close it out with some drivers ed and NASCAR education from Jake! We have all that and more coming right up!

02:28 Club Baseball Adventures and Unexpected Encounters
05:48 The Chicken Supreme Incident: A Deep Dive
16:37 Diving Into the SEC: Surprises and Standouts
26:02 Wake Forest’s Resurgence and Tennessee’s Power Duo
33:34 ECU Concession Stand Review: The Pirate Dog Experience
37:33 Favorite Moments of the Week: Turkey Incident and Baseball Highlights
41:56 Exploring Unique Baseball Stories and Highlights
43:36 Coach Mazey’s Generous Offer at Buffalo Wild Wings
47:22 Celebrating College Baseball Achievements and Oddities
48:47 Billy Amick’s Impressive Return Post-Appendectomy
54:52 Diving Deep into NASCAR with a Baseball Twist
57:46 Wrapping Up with Player and Pitcher of the Week


The Schoch Factor is brought to you by Soldier Sports.
Follow Stephen on Twitter: @BigDonkey47
Follow Jake and Jordan on Twitter: @CespedesBBQ
Follow the podcast on Twitter: @SchochFactorPod
Subscribe to The Schoch Factor on Apple | Spotify



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An ode to PSU’s Hot Dog Night + hat tips to standout players • D1Baseball

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Hey fans, we are halfway through the college baseball schedule and it’s now officially my favorite time of the season. Now, some people will say it’s the midseason, however things are anything but mid. I love the midseason because it’s the point in which we now have a good idea of which teams are playing solid baseball and what teams to look out for as we head towards the postseason. This is a real make or break time for a lot of teams and in the next couple of weeks we’re going to learn a lot about all these teams. Kendall made the mistake of giving me access to post on the website now, which means each week I will be highlighting some of my favorite highlights and oddities from the week in college baseball. 

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get into it: 

• To lead things off, we are going to start with the No. 1 team in the nation. It should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone that the team named the Aggies are phenomenal at taking care of work at the yard. Every now and then comes an innovator, someone who can take something that is already good, and find a way to optimize it even better. In terms of the Aggies, we saw this happen in the early 1900’s when the tractor was invented and crops could be focused more so on sales and production rather than feeding livestock to fuel the plows, such as horses, mules, and even donkeys. Well, this season, similar optimization has been happening for the Aggies in the form of “Smart and Good at Baseball”. Insert Penn transfer Jackson Appel. In their midweek game against UTSA, Appel went 3-4 with 3 home runs, the last of which was a walk-off. If the last was not a walk-off the rumor has been swirling around that Jackson was never even going to go home, he was just going to stay at the yard and keep mashing bombs for all eternity. 

• Staying the course with “Smart and Good at Baseball ” guys we need to shine a light on Penn baseball’s Wyatt Henseler, who hit his 47th career home run this weekend, while driving in his 165th and 166th career RBI’s. Playing baseball in the Ivy League is cool for several reasons, but one of the coolest is the history of it, as these are the schools that come top of mind when thinking about premier education, and the history of higher education in general. The Ivy League was first penned in 1935 with the official formation of the conference taking place in 1954. All that is to say in all the years since then, not a single soul has driven in more RBIs than Wyatt Henseler. Not Lou Gehrig when he was at Columbia, not George H.W. Bush at Yale, so shout out to Wyatt Henseler for earning those bragging rights. Interestingly, Henesler will play ball at Texas A&M next spring.

• Another guy who has been electric all season long is Wake Forest’s Chase Burns. Over the weekend, he became the first pitcher in Division I baseball to reach the 100-strikeout mark as he has settled at 105 punch outs in just 57 innings pitched. Chase is one of the nicest players I have gotten to meet this season, just a genuinely kind dude, which makes it that much more fun to watch him get on the mound and turn into a completely different person. When Chase is on the mound, he looks like he would take the last slice of pizza without asking if anyone wanted to go “splitzies” to put it lightly. To put it literally, he is out there throwing baseballs at speeds I used to think were impossible, while going ballistic. It is just a very funny juxtaposition where off the field he is a guy who is posting cute and funny animals on his Instagram to make people happy, then on it, well you just must watch for yourself. 

• I want to start with a disclaimer that I don’t typically report on injuries and things of that nature unless it’s a normal/fluke thing that won’t really harm anyone’s draft stock. Either way, Billy Amick missed some time the past couple of weeks because his appendix decided to burst, or need to be removed, or whatever it is that doctors do with those bad boys. I digress. Billy made his way back into the lineup this weekend and wasted no time at all picking up exactly where he left off, belting the first pitch he’s seen post appendectomy deep out of Lindsey Nelson. Not sure how HIPPA works or anything of that nature, but I really think there’s a strong NIL opportunity for whoever performed this removal surgery. I mean, I would happily trade my appendix to hit home runs with my friends any day of the week. 

• The final moment I want to talk about from this week in college baseball comes from all the way across the nation at Oregon State where in its midweek against Portland, Travis Bazzana belted his 18th home run of the season, which was also the 35th of his career. This broke the record that was previously shared by teammates from the 2000’s Beavers team, Joe Gerber and Andy Jarvis, who both belted 34 each. Travis is a ball player that I have just so much respect for. When I was 18 years old, I left my hometown and moved two states away to play baseball, had horrible stats, and nearly went crazy. Travis is over here playing baseball one whole ocean away from his hometown of Sydney, Australia. Getting recruited to play college ball is definitely tough, but for Travis, he essentially had a 2-week window to get recruited while on a trip to America, and not only did he accomplish that, he got recruited by his dream school. He has an awesome story and if you want to hear all about it you can listen to our episode of the Schoch Factor Podcast where we are joined by the wonder from down under linked below. At the risk of some spoilers, I will say he did confirm for me that the Bloomin’ Onion is a fabricated culinary innovation and not in fact a naturally occurring vegetable in Australia as some people would believe. Not me, but I am sure some people would believe it. 

• EXTRA INNINGS

This is not so much a moment, but more of a “this is what college baseball is all about” situation. Penn State Baseball does Dollar Dog Night Promotions for a large majority of its midweek games. This week, they won 12-2 over the FDU Knights, which cut the game short to only be eight innings. Eight innings in which they absolutely shattered records, in the year 2024, with the pitch clock in effect, fans consumed a whopping 6,151 hot dogs. Read that number again and think about how many hot dogs you have ever seen in your life, that probably isn’t even 6,151. Now imagine a small swimming pool full of them. That’s what I imagine 6,151 hot dogs to look like and to be honest, someone pass me my flippers because I want to dive right in. That means they were consuming at a DPI (dogs per inning) of roughly 769!!! To the concessions staff, I salute you, to the fans, I salute you, to the Penn State baseball marketing team, I salute you, and let’s work to find a way to mix in a dollar Pepto Bismol night as well. 

More hot dog data if you’re into that kind of thing:

On google I found an article that said 75 hot dogs is about 16 pounds, or the weight of a household vacuum (do NOT ask me why this was the 16-pound object he chose to compare to, but great comp IMO) not sure the Dog to Dyson quotient, but we’ll work with it. So, 1 hotdog is getting us 2.1% of a vacuum (transitive property of hot dogs) -> 6,151 * 0.021= roughly 129 vacuums worth of hot dogs or 2,064 pounds of hot dogs.

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