Junior Preston Hartsell has been playing baseball since he was 12 years old. It has been part of his identity ever since.
Friends of Hartsell attest to how hardworking and devoted he is to his sport. Hartsell devotes about 30 hours per week to train and practice as a center fielder and leadoff hitter.
However, so much commitment to a sport does not come without a price. Injuries can be a dreaded blow to athletes; Hartsell has broken his nose twice since he began playing, but he still pushes forward with determination and grit.
In addition to leading the Seakings, Hartsell also plays for BPA Rawlings in San Clemente. BPA is a highly respected local baseball training center. According to the BPA website, the training center “was founded in 2008 by former baseball professionals, including Major Leaguer, Craig Grebeck.”
Additionally, BPA takes pride in teaching “life skills” while building on technical skills.
In order to focus entirely on baseball, Hartsell does not play any other sports. Throughout his journey, he has met certain individuals who have inspired him.
Joe Keller one of Hartsell’s past coaches, has been an influential figure throughout Hartsell’s life.
“The travel team I used to play for was in Moreno Valley, which is two hours away,” Hartsell said, “so most weekends I would stay the night at his house and he would drive to the games. He became like a second father to me”
Bryce Harper has provided Hartsell with a role model. Harper, a right fielder for the Washington Nationals, is widely known as a skilled right fielder and was the first pick overall in the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft.
Baseball may be America’s favorite pastime, but it isn’t Hartsell’s only one.
Hartsell enjoys lifting weights with his friends. Eventually, weightlifting became a competition with his friend group and now they all challenge one another in the weight room.
“When I’m not playing baseball,” Hartsell said, “I love to travel and meet people from all over.”
When reflecting on his baseball career thus far, Hartsell said “My biggest accomplishment is committing to my dream school, USC”.
Hartwell committed Feb. 6 of his freshman year after USC recruiters watched him at a high school game during the summer.
“I thought that I was super young to be making that decision but after a week I realized it was the right one.”
Once on campus, Hartsell hopes to major in business and get the full college experience of great academics, great athletics, and great parties.
While still a Seaking,, Hartsell hopes to win a CIF title (California Interscholastic Federation Championship) for CdM baseball with support from Coach John Emme.
When his time at USC comes to an end, he hopes to continue his baseball career professionally.