Feb. 29, 2008
Bucknell's senior co-captain, pitcher/DH Jason Buursma finished first in the Patriot League with a 1.65 ERA last season, the second lowest mark in league history. He also ranked in the top ten in league in opponents' batting average, finishing third at .217, as well as sixth in the PL in slugging percentage at .455. Overall the mighty righty from the birthplace of grunge, Starbucks and booty aficionado Sir-Mix-a-Lot, ended the year at 4-1, with five saves and 35 strikeouts over 43.2 innings; however that's the half the story. When not on the hill, Buursma was in the batter's box. He hit .299 with 22 runs scored, 23 RBI and 14 extra base hits while playing the field. Along the way he established a new school record for saves, earning a spot amongst the greatest to play hardball in Bucknell's 120 year history, putting himself in the same company as former Bison and MLB and College Hall of Fame pitcher Christy Mathewson.
However Buursma would gladly trade his personal accolades to end his career in Bucknell a winner. Last season the Orange and Blue finished with a record of 16-24, 8-12 in the Patriot League. A respectable record, but room to improve. The hungry Bison and Buursma will be looking to bring the Patriot League title to Lewisburg.
While sitting out a rain delay last Friday in Richmond, Kentucky at Eastern Kentucky's Early Bird Tournament, the senior leader took some time to answer some questions from Ping!:
PING!: Was there any hesitation to returning back to campus after being selected by your hometown Seattle Mariners in last year?s MLB amateur draft?
Buursma: It was very tempting to be able to concentrate solely on playing ball without school, but I knew I wanted to finish school no matter what. It helped my decision to go late in the draft, making the incentives almost nonexistent. I also wanted another year to get stronger and really try and focus on pitching. Besides, no one wants to leave college without a championship ring on their finger, right?
For the complete Jason Buursma interview with PING!, click here