A day in the life: Mackenzie Gaul

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Mackenzie Gaul throws a pitch during a CWU home baseball game last season. Gaul is entering his final season as a Wildcat.

Mackenzie Gaul throws a pitch during a CWU home baseball game last season. Gaul is entering his final season as a Wildcat.

Jack Lambert

Jack Lambert

Mackenzie Gaul throws a pitch during a CWU home baseball game last season. Gaul is entering his final season as a Wildcat.

Clayton Huber, Staff Reporter

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A normal day for senior pitcher Mackenzie Gaul starts at 6:30 a.m. He goes to weights, which start at 7 a.m.  and lasts for an hour and a half. After that, Gaul heads to his scheduled classes, which run until about 1 p.m., depending on what day it is.

Last season Gaul was 6-2 as a starting pitcher with 14 starts. The left-hander collected 72 strikeouts with an earned run average of 3.18 and was named GNAC Pitcher of the Year.

This schedule gives Gaul about an hour to relax and eat whatever food he can pack up in the morning.

“Sometimes all I have is an hour between classes and practice so I eat a lot of sandwiches, they’re just really quick to make,” Gaul said.

Gaul’s go-to sandwich is a turkey and cheese and he also includes a protein bar in the meal.

Being a student athlete can be tough because athletes are required to travel during the season. CWU will be traveling to Idaho, California, Oregon and Montana this season. Most the time, the team travels by bus, which can make it hard to study or do homework.

“During season, I prefer to enroll in online classes to avoid missing classes on the road,” Gaul said. “It can [also] be difficult [to get] a healthy amount of sleep on busses and long trips back from Montana or California.”

Practice during the season usually starts around 3 p.m. and runs for about two hours. After practice, Gaul then goes to see a trainer to get precautionary treatment on his arm and back  to keep his muscles healthy.

“I get scraped after starts and cupping treatment before. I have a whole routine I do before a start,” Gaul said.

Pitchers have a history of muscle and tendon issues and scraping releases tension in the muscles, lessening the likelihood of future injuries.

After seeing the trainer, Gaul is finally able to go home to and eat a full meal. His day as an athlete is over around 6 p.m., but like other students, he has to do homework and studying as well.

“I usually make something with chicken [for dinner] because it has a lot of protein, which I need.” Gaul said. “Being a student athlete, it can be tricky at times to eat meals since we’re always on the go. Dinner is usually where I can actually sit down and make something healthy to eat.”

Like many sports, the baseball team is required to go to a study hall for a certain amount of hours per week. The amount of hours is different for every player because it is based off GPA.

“It’s definitely a challenge to get school work done. This is my fifth year playing at the college level so I’m used to having limited hours,” Gaul said.

Though Gaul does not get many nights off from homework, he enjoys spending his free time relaxing watching Netflix or playing Xbox.

“When the weather gets nice, I like to spend my off days golfing, fishing, or going clay pigeon shooting,” Gaul said.

During the season, the team is either traveling on the weekends or is hosting a team at home. Gaul usually doesn’t have a chance to visit his hometown of Winlock, Washington during the season, which goes through May.

“Luckily my family comes over to see a few games and a lot of our games are played on the west side of the state or in Portland, which is more manageable for my family to come watch as they’re from the west side of state,” Gaul said.

During the offseason, the team is granted weekends off and sometimes even days off during the week. This allows Gaul to travel home to see his family and to catch up on rest.

“Season is a lot different than the offseason. During the offseason we get a couple off days a week and we’re able to sleep in most weekends and have weekends free to do whatever,” Gaul said. “In the offseason, the workouts are a lot more intense versus the season where it’s more maintaining muscle and making sure we are healthy and ready to play.”

Mackenzie Gaul kicked off his final season as a Wildcat by being named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Preseason All-West Region Second Team.

 

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A day in the life: Mackenzie Gaul