Editor’s Note: This story was written by and republished with the permission of the Big Red Sports Network, which provides excellent Cornell sports coverage throughout the year for alumni, parents, students and fans everywhere.
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Trey Baur joins the Big Red after a distinguished high school career at Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School in St. Louis, Missouri. An undecided freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences, Baur was kind enough to sit down for a few questions with BRSN.
Baur is the son of former New England Patriots and Stanford University tight end Turner Baur. But it was clear from a young age that Trey would excel in a different sport. The 6’5” right-handed hitter was named a 2014 Perfect Game Preseason High School All-American prior to his senior season. He backed that up with a .512 average, and leading his district in a slew of offensive categories, including home runs. But when I asked two-time team captain about his favorite baseball memory, Baur picked an experience from earlier in his career.
“When I was a freshman in high school, I was starting in the district championship against a team that had won the last the state championship four years in a row. Mike Matheny’s (St. Louis Cardinal Manager) son actually played there.” After striking out in his first two at bats, Baur came to the plate again with his team down 3-2 in the sixth inning. “The first pitch, I hit home run over the left field fence to tie the game. It was the happiest I had ever been on a baseball field.”
So after four outstanding high school seasons, summers of travel teams and showcases, Baur faced a tough decision on where to play college baseball.
“Academics were obviously important to me,” said Baur. Though he considered several Ivy League programs as well as St. Louis University, Cornell stood out from his other options. “Over the summer after my junior year, I came up for a visit, and fell in love with the campus. Coach Walk(enbach) and the rest of the staff were really impressive.”
Coach Walkenbach also had high praise for his talented new rookie. “Trey is a big, physical hitter who can put a charge into a baseball. He moves well defensively on the corners and has a chance to be a factor in the middle of the lineup for us.”
It should come as no surprise who Baur picked as a model for his offensive game. “Growing up in St. Louis, Albert Pujols was the greatest hitter I’ve ever seen,” Baur said. “I would watch him, and try and do some of the same things that made him so successful.”
Baur was complimentary of all of his teammates, from his fellow freshmen, to the squad’s upper class leadership. “There’s eight of us (freshman), and we all have a really tight bond. Going to practice together, walking to campus in negative 20 degree wind chill, we’ve really bonded over these first two semesters.”
Baur singled out senior captain Brian McAfee as someone’s who is a “great role model for all the freshman”. McAfee and the rest of the Big Red Seniors had shared their experiences of winning an Ivy League Championship with the rest of the team.
“They always talk about what you have to do to win an Ivy League title. They make it really tangible, the work you need to put in, and the things that you have to get done. Everybody has the same goal.”
Those are discussions that Baur is not taking lightly. Even though he is just three games into his Cornell career, Baur was direct when asked what his long-term goals were.
“I came to Cornell to win an Ivy League Championship.”