Recently Dynamic Baseball’s Dan Gitzen had an opportunity to sit down with Stone Bridge super sophomore and North Carolina verbal commit Jacob “JB” Bukauskas. Bukauskas has already become a household name helping to lead his Stone Bridge Varsity team to a Liberty District Championship while being named the district’s Pitcher of the Year. Bukauskas’s dominance didn’t stop at the high school ranks as he is rated the #7 player in the nation by Perfect Game and was the Most Valuable Pitcher for his East squad at the PG Junior National Games. Please enjoy this morning’s Dynamic Prospect Focus with JB Bukauskas.
Name: Jacob (JB) Bukauskas
High School: Stone Bridge HS
School Mascot: Bulldogs
District/Conference: Liberty District
Height/Weight: 6’1” 175
College Commit: North Carolina
Travel Team: Evoshield CANES
Please list events you have participated in Showcases, Big Tournaments, Big Games:
The bigger events I have attended have occurred in the last year or so and include:
Multiple Perfect Game WWBA 15u, 16u, PG Junior National, PG National (San Diego),
VA Commonwealth games (North Team), PG underclass, USA NTIS
What is the biggest stage you have ever played on, and why do you feel it was the biggest?
The biggest stage I have thrown on was last high school season against Madison High school. The game was broadcasted on Gameday Magazine and it was the first big high school game I had played in front of a crowd. There has always been a great rivalry between Stone Bridge and Madison so to throw that game early on in my career was pretty intense. On top of that we were at Madison which didn’t make anything any easier.
You recently made your college choice, why did you make that choice. What were some of the key factors?
The reason I made my choice so early was because I have always wanted to go to UNC. Coach Fox, Coach Forbes, and Coach Jackson made me feel like family from the first conversation we ever had. My family and I have taken many trips to the campus when I was down in NC for the USA baseball events in Cary, NC. I loved the campus and the baseball stadium and I couldn’t imagine a better school and I have always wanted to play at the highest level and in the ACC, so there couldn’t have been a better fit.
If you had to have one hitter up to bat with the winning run on 3rd in the bottom of the 7th, who would it be?
If I had to pick one hitter to have up to the plate in a key situation it would probably be Charlie Cody. Every time I have played with him, all I have seen him do is come up big for the Evoshield Canes. Definitely the person I would want up to bat.
Who has made the biggest impact on your baseball career to date, and why?
The person that has had the biggest impact on my baseball career is probably my dad. Starting from coaching me in little league and then putting me in contact with coaches/trainers like Pinkman Pitching Academy, Coach Sam Plank, and the Evoshield Canes Family (Jeff Petty, Dan Gitzen, Jamie Evans). These are impactful to me because I would not be the player I am today without great training and great exposure.
What kind of a team do you think your High School Team will be this spring? How far do you think you can go, and why?
I think that we should have a pretty solid team this spring. We lost a big group of seniors last year but, we still have a good core group of guys and I think we are going to be a team that wins a lot of close baseball games.
Who is the best player you have ever played with to date?
The best player I have played with to date is Justin Bellinger. There is always a chance for something big to happen when he is up to the plate. In the field he is the best defensive first basemen that I have seen. Not too many balls get by him; overall he is the best player I have played with.
Who is the best teammate/leader you have ever played with and why?
The best leader I have played with has to be Cam Bowen. He took a year off from playing baseball and came back to the team for his senior year and was a great captain. He always lead by example and played the game the right way. Along with being a great leader it seemed that every time we needed a big hit he would always be up to the plate and come through. Stone Bridge High School 2011-2012
What kind of things have you done this off season to prepare for this upcoming season Spring/Summer/Fall? What are some of your weaknesses, and strengths you have worked on and how?
I have worked very hard this offseason to get in really good physical shape. Some things I worked on were my stamina and being able to go deeper into games, so I did a lot of running this off season. Along with running I have done some “pitcher specific” lifting that I have put me in a lot better shape.
What are you looking forward to most this year in the upcoming school/travel seasons and why?
I am looking forward to playing in front of a crowd again this year for my high school team. It’s a great feeling to represent your school in front of fans and peers. I am also looking forward to playing with some teammates I haven’t seen in a while in the summer. We’re all really excited to make another good with the Evoshield CANES run at a Perfect Game WWB championship.
If you had a day away from the baseball field what would you go do for fun?
If I had a day away from the baseball field I would probably spend it with some of the guys from our summer team. I don’t get to see them that often so it’s always a good time to hang out with them.
What is your prediction on this year’s final four who is going to cut down the nets at the Georgia Dome this year?
My prediction for this year’s final four is UNC, Duke, Arizona, and Michigan. I hope that UNC makes the tournament. I would love to watch them make a good run at another championship.
We would like to thank JB for taking the time to speak with us and wish him and the Stone Bridge Bulldogs luck in the 2013 season.