For Valparaiso High School senior Devin Bafia, home is on the pitcher’s mound. After winning sectionals three times, being named 1st Team All Area by multiple news sources, and making Team Indiana, Bafia has a bright future ahead of him.
The star baseball player recently received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Evansville, and he hopes to eventually play in the big leagues. For Bafia, baseball is both the motivation and the goal.
Bafia is quick to note, however, that success doesn’t come without hard work. One of the baseball team’s slogans supports Bafia’s sentiments: “Nothing is given to you, and hard work pays off.”
Bafia’s been working hard all his life. At only three-years-old, he started playing baseball with his father, Rich Bafia, who was recruited into pros only to suffer a tragic injury.
Rich, eager to give his son an edge, taught him to pitch with his left hand – a huge advantage when it comes to pitching.
As he grew up, Bafia played on a combination of school and traveling teams. His father coaches Triple Crown Elite, Bafia’s team during the summer and fall. During the rest of the year, his dad pitches live so that Bafia can practice batting in a more realistic setting. Bafia is grateful for all of his dad’s encouragement and expertise.
Bafia’s biggest piece of advice for younger baseball players is to practice more live hitting.
“Nothing can get you better than actually seeing the ball out of the hand,” Bafia said.
During the school year, Bafia plays on the school team at VHS, coached by Dave Coyle.
As the coach is apparently fond of saying, “All it takes is all you’ve got.”
Coyle coaches baseball similarly to how he coaches the high school football team: players work until they achieve their goals.
“Coach Coyle always has us run the same practice,” Bafia said. “It’s on a time schedule and we always do the same things in the same order everyday.”
This endless repetition helps athletes know what to expect and solidifies each day’s training.
“It’s a mindset for improvement,” Bafia said. “It’s good to be on a schedule.”
Even when baseball is exhausting and demanding, Bafia keeps up his hard work and dedicates himself to the game.
“Baseball is just fun,” said Bafia. “And I love it.”
Bafia is a winner inside and out, that’s why he’s a Valpo Life in the Spotlight.