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Student Athlete Spotlight: Jesse Retzlaff ’20


The Manitou Messenger had the opportunity to interview St. Olaf pitcher Jesse Retzlaff ’20. Retzlaff is a junior majoring in economics from Eagan, Minn. This season, Retzlaff has thrown in 24 innings and only allowed 16 hits in garnering 4 consecutive wins. He was recently named on the Team of the Week, the first St. Olaf player to be listed on the weekly honor roll. Retzlaff answered some questions and shared his thoughts on the season.

Q: What are your thoughts on the season thus far? The team is off to a great start, what has contributed to your team’s success?

A: I’m really proud of the team. As of right now, we are hitting really well, playing tremendous defense and the pitching staff has really found its rhythm. We played a tough non-conference schedule that I think prepared us really well to come into the MIAC season, which is consistently stacked with good teams.

Q: What has the team done differently this season to get off to such a good start in comparison to years past?

A: I don’t know if we’re doing that much different, the majority of the team now has significant experience from last year which helps in those close games. We have good leaders who have set goals for the team and we are all focused on achieving those goals and having each others’ backs doing it.

Q: Do you have any pregame rituals before taking the mound on game days?

A: My pregame rituals consist of eating pasta, wearing my baseball pants down and the same socks/compression shorts/undershirt. I also only wear short sleeves no matter how cold it is outside in the spring. Before the game starts, I start my warmup exactly 45 minutes before the start of the game.

Q: What are your favorite meals to eat at the Caf?

A: The delicious options at the grill line or anything involving mashed potatoes.

Q: How were the trips down south? How do you think these trips help the team?

A: The trips were fantastic. It was a lot of fun. It’s always super beneficial to get outside and on grass and we are super grateful to be able to go. Opportunities like those help the team figure out what we can do well and what we can improve on for when we come back to Minnesota. They are also fun team-bonding times.

Q: What are your favorite sports teams?

A: Minnesota Twins / Vikings

Q: Who is your favorite St. Olaf athlete, other than yourself?

A: Katie Crowley