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Rudnik inspired by family, love of sport

March 2, 2011

By Leila Shearon, Staff Writer

Photo by Leila Shearon

Baseball is in the air at Young Harris College, but the sun is not the only thing shining. Josh Rudnik, a sophomore business major from Buford High School, is currently one of only three returning players on the Mountain Lions baseball team.

Rudnik began his baseball career at a young age. Beginning at the age of five, Rudnik played t-ball for his home town Texas Rangers, a youth baseball team. He continued to play through high school where he also played football. Rudnik’s neighbor, Ty Miller, was a member of the YHC baseball team during the 2005-2006 seasons. Miller has been credited with planting YHC into Rudnik’s persona.

Rudnik’s athleticism comes from a family tradition of sportsmanship. His father played baseball at the University of Detroit, and his younger sister Alysha Rudnik is a catcher for the Georgia Tech softball team.

“We still throw together during school breaks,” said Rudnik.

This sophomore leader takes pride in both his pitching and hitting abilities. Rudnik’s fastball has been clocked at a top speed of 91miles per hour. Last season Rudnik batted .375 and slugged .688. He also delivered 24 strikeouts for the Mountain Lions pitching staff.

This season Rudnik is helping to lead a team of 22 freshman and three sophomores. He feels confident about the season despite the age deficit.

“We are young and learning, but we have the talent to be great,” said Rudnik.

Rudnik both dreams big and achieves big. He aspires to one day play for Major League Baseball’s the Atlanta Braves. He has also made it his goal to visit all 30 major league stadiums. So far Rudnik has attended games at major league vicinities such as Fenway Park, the Great American Ball Park, Turner Field, Coors Field and Camden Yards.

Aside from a career in baseball, Rudnik has a love for animals as well. The pitcher has hopes to one day spend his time away from baseball breeding chocolate labs.

“Hard work pays off,” said Rudnik.

Rudnik will follow this creed as he prepares to blend his knowledge and talent of sports with the pursuit of a business degree.

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