When Danny Pobereyko arrives at Butler this summer, he’s going to ask his coaches if he can add a different regimen to his pitching routine.
During the offseason, Bishop Noll ace Pobereyko ditched his gym sneakers and stopped playing basketball in favor of a dip in the swimming pool. The workouts to keep his arms and legs in tip-top swimming shape more closely mirrored what a pitcher needs.
“During basketball season in the past, I tended to get real skinny and stringy,” Pobereyko said, “so when it came to baseball season, I wasn’t in great baseball shape. I would throw on the weekends, but it wasn’t the same.
"For swimming, I felt like I was in better shape, coming straight from swimming to the baseball field. I plan on doing this during the summer and hopefully I’ll be able to talk to the coaches at Butler about letting me work out in the pool in the offseason.”
Starting out in baseball shape helped Pobereyko right away. The senior is 5-1 with two saves for the 21-2 Warriors. Since the end of his sophomore season, he’s been tabbed to start Noll’s biggest games, and this season he’s started against the Class 4A competition, his only loss coming to Crown Point.
“He’s expected to be an ace. No matter who we play against, with him on the mound, we have a good chance of winning,” Warriors coach Paul Wirtz said. “He’s going to keep us in every game. That’s exactly what we’ve seen from him this season.”
Among those five wins is a 7-3 victory over Munster, Pobereyko’s hometown team.
“I know a couple of other guys on our team are from Munster, too, so to get that win was most important,” Pobereyko said. “That one feels the best.”
“He has pitched as well against Crown Point and Munster as he has against any other opponent,” Wirtz said. “He’s been so consistent. He can pitch against anybody, so I don’t know if he’s had any game that has been better than any other game.”
Pobereyko is throwing three pitches for strikes -- a fastball, slider and change-up.
He had 54 strikeouts in 39 2/3 innings going into Thursday’s game against Highland.
At night, even if he doesn’t pitch, he spends time in his basement running on the treadmill.
“I think because of how he approaches every inning and every practice, our other players see how he is and our entire pitching staff has been good this year,” Wirtz said.
“He sets that example. He works just as hard playing catch as he does on the mound.”