Rising star: Former SJSU baseball player hits and pitches for De Anza College Dons

Hailing from the state of Washington, Nicholas Kafer, 20, general business major, made his way onto De Anza’s baseball team splitting time between pitcher and third baseman throughout his first year.

Kafer’s love for the sport dates back to when he was five years old. He played: little league, select baseball, all four years during high school and for a year at San Jose State University before being recruited by De Anza.
After the SJSU team cut Kafer last year, De Anza head coach Eric Raich invited Kafer to play for De Anza, allowing him to remain in the Bay Area.

“We expect him to be a real big contributor,” Raich said. “From a standpoint of the mental aspect of the game, he’s still playing a little bit of catch up. Once it falls into place, he’s going to really take off.”

Kafer started the season out as a pitcher, but later made his way to third base. Halfway through the season, Kafer began hitting during important games. He ended the season with a batting average of .321, one of highest on the team.

“He’s a lot farther along than other freshman that we’ve had in the past,” Raich said.
On the field, Kafer is described as an aggressive player by fellow teammate Sam Nastari, 20, business marketing major.

“As a person, he’s really nice and has a good sense of humor,” Nastari said.
To the team, Kafer is known as “llama boy,” a nickname given to him because of his poofy hair.
“Of course, he embraced it,” Nastari said.

Kafer expects to continue pitching on the team next year, but also expects to take a role somewhere in the batting order so he can continue hitting.

Raich said he is considering the possibility of Kafer playing catcher in the 2018 season.

Both Raich and Nastari said they enjoy having Kafer on the team. His dedication on the field and in the weight room have helped move the team forward.

The season ended for Kafer and the team in April after they fell a few games short of a playoff spot.

“There is some disappointment,” Kafer said. “Overall, the season was really fun and playing with everyone made showing up everyday a good time.”