Without baseball on the horizon, I’m using this time to connect with former Senators (all of them can be found here).
We will relive some of their fondest memories and find out what they’re up to now. This week we’re giving the ball to pitcher Adrian Alaniz.
The Nationals selected Alaniz in the 2007 8th round out of the University of Texas. The right-hander made 39 appearances (including 25 starts) over parts or all of the 2009, 2009, and 2010 seasons with Harrisburg pitching to a 4.13 ERA while striking out 107 batters in 141 2/3 innings.
Mayflies: What are you currently doing?
Adrian Alaniz: I am currently the Head Baseball coach for my hometown in Sinton, Texas. I’ve been coaching/teaching at Sinton High School for nine years now. I also coach football and serve as our quarterbacks’ coach for all levels.
My wife Nicole and I live here in Sinton with our two girls, Brylee (6 yrs old) and Brooklyn (3). My wife and I graduated from Sinton HS, so coming back home after playing professional ball and living in our hometown where both of our families still reside has been a blessing.
MF: What is your fondest memory of playing in Harrisburg?
AA: There were many great memories as a Harrisburg Senator, but one memory that stood out was clinching the postseason spot in 2010. Many players came and went over that year, but we had a load of talent in guys like Chris Marrero, Tommy Milone, and Danny Espinosa. It was extra special to have that moment with the guys in my 2007 draft class (Bill Rhinehart, Jeff Mandel, Ross Detwiler, and Sean Rooney). Most of us had been a part of a Carolina League Championship in High-A the year before.
My fondest memories in Harrisburg was the ballpark remodel, living with our host families, going to Hersheypark, hanging out at Zembie’s after ballgames. I feel like the ballpark in Harrisburg is like no other because it sits on the island.
MF: What was your greatest or favorite day in baseball?
AA: My favorite personal memory in baseball was throwing a no-hitter versus Oklahoma during my freshman year at the University of Texas in 2005. I was one batter away from a perfect game (walked a batter in the 4th inning) and just threw 92 pitches in that effort.
My favorite team memory was winning a state championship in high school during my junior year and winning a National Championship with the Texas Longhorns in 2005. I guess you can say I have a lot of rings in the collection!
MF: What factors went into your decision to stop playing?
AA: The decision to stop playing baseball was one of the toughest moments of my life. Growing up, that’s all I ever wanted to do. But realizing that there are certain things you can’t do like you used to and play at the level you were known for, it was time to go to my second chapter. I wanted to start a family, and financially the income in the minor leagues was a struggle. With that all considered, I knew it was time for me to hang up the cleats.
The memories and relationships built over my career will go on forever, and that’s something I will never let go.
Thanks to Adrian for taking the time out of his schedule to answer our questions.