Teammates and coaches acknowledge junior Josh Elander for his leadership skills both on and off the field.
But the recognition of this season’s starting catcher does not stop there.
“He has all the physical tools you would ever want to have and his mental skills are off the chart,” head baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “He’s very mature for his age, he’s a hard worker, he’s a great leader, he’s really the ultimate package.”
Elander’s skills landed him a spot as primary catcher on the Collegiate National Team over the summer. Out of the 22-man squad he earned the top batting average.
“Playing for Team USA was probably the preeminent baseball experience of my life,” Elander said.
While playing for the Collegiate National Team he played in multiple facilities including Fenway Park and the Durham Bulls Park.
“The best part about the experience was getting to play with my teammate Andrew Mitchell,” Elander said. “He was outstanding on the bump, and led the team in appearances as a true freshman.”
Playing for the Collegiate National Team gave him confidence and motivation to return to Omaha this summer in purple, Elander said.
Elander was recently named third-team preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball and second-team preseason All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
Stepping up as a leader using his experiences means, “simply continuing to do the things I’ve done in the past couple of years and do anything I can to help my teammates be successful,” Elander said.
Every day at practice, Elander looks forward to having another opportunity to play the game that he loves and spend quality time with his teammates. Practice is another chance to strive as a team to get one step closer to their goals, Elander said.
But out of everyone his teammates and coaches inspire him the most, Elander said.
“I owe it to them to work as hard as I can every day so that if my number is called in a make or break situation I know that I have done everything I can to put myself in a position to the help the team be successful,” Elander said.