Player Spotlight: Carlos Vega
Southeast senior pitcher Carlos Vega secured his team-leading fifth win of the season on Sunday, April 8, against Eastern Illinois University. Vega pitched seven scoreless innings, struck 7 batters out, and only allowed two walks and two hits.
Vega is 5-3 on the season. He stated the season as a closer but has transitioned to a starter, a move he said coach Andy Sawyers did not anticipate going into the season.
“He’s been our best starter,” Sawyers said. “Since he started the year in the bullpen, what we’ve done is actually closed him on Fridays and started him on Sundays. He’s been pretty invaluable; we’ve won every Sunday since we’ve started him.”
Since transferring to Southeast from Arizona Western College in 2017, Vega has been a closer for the Redhawks. e led the team in both relief appearances (23) and saves (6) in 2017. This season, Vega is leading the Redhawks in earned run average (2.01) and strikeouts (46).
Vega wanted to throw a complete game Sunday, but was pulled after seven innings in what turned out to be a 13-1 rout.
“Mentality-wise, I wanted to go out there and finish the game and finish what I started,” Vega said. “They shut me down after the seventh inning. I wanted to go back out and pitch a complete-game shutout, nine innings, but the coaches said no because of the weather. It was about to snow so they had to pull me.”
With Ohio Valley Conference games ahead, Vega feels prepared, and is looking forward to series against Jacksonville State University and OVC-leading Tennessee Tech University. The Redhawks are currently in second place in the OVC with a a recod of 10-5 and a record 15-18 overall.
“The team’s we have been playing are just average, but Tennessee Tech and Jacksonville State are going to be challenges,” Vega said. “They’ve been powerhouses for the last couple of years. Before I got here, those guys were top of the line. That's who I want to face, to challenge myself with better hitters at better ballparks and in better environments.”
Vega is set to graduate in the fall, and his plan is to continue playing baseball.
“Hopefully I get picked up by somebody, I have a couple of teams looking at me,” Vega said. “The Minnesota Twins and the [Baltimore] Orioles were looking at me last year, and the [Los Angeles] Dodgers went to go watch me pitch at Mizzou.”
If Vega is not picked up, he plans to return home to Arizona to use his Parks and Recreation Management degree, possibly working with summer school programs with kids.