Tigers’ outfielder top hitter in West Coast Conference
Graduate student Ben Nemivant ’22, ’23 is having a tremendous season for Pacific Baseball, with a .409 battering average that makes him the No. 1 hitter in the West Coast Conference and No. 27 across the NCAA.
“Ben has been fantastic this season. He comes to the field ready to play,” said Head Coach Chris Rodriguez. “Usually when you hit about .300 it’s good, and he’s hitting .400 overall. He gets his hits every game. And just as impressive is what he’s doing off the field.”
After earning his undergraduate degree in business administration in 2022, Nemivant is in an intense one-year master’s program for business. He was able to continue playing due to the extra year of eligibility offered by the NCAA because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nemivant, who plays center field, works around his demanding class schedule and workload by attending early hitting sessions separate from the team to stay sharp.
“He’s mastering both of them, which is a great thing to see,” Rodriguez said. “The big thing he has done differently this year is that he’s done a really good job focusing on hitting the ball in the strike zone.”
Hitting has been a core focus for Nemivant since he was in high school. To realize his aspirations of playing baseball at the Division I level, he made daily trips to batting cages with his father.
"I've always been undersized and never had the ideal body type, but I knew if I could hit, no matter how small I was, there'd be a place for me in this game," said Nemivant, who is 5-foot-11 and weighs 165 pounds.
After a successful high school career (he was named 5A Northeast Valley Region Player of the Year in 2018), he was offered a scholarship to play baseball at Pacific. Though the transition to the collegiate level was challenging, he credits Pacific with helping him grow and develop as a player.
"Pacific gave me so many opportunities to learn from my mistakes and failures, and I don't think I would've been given those opportunities at too many schools," Nemivant said. "Especially in my first few seasons, I began to accept failure as part of my growth.
“I have to give credit to Pacific for helping me realize that. I'm a better player because of it. They helped me change my perspective to understand that your mistakes don't define you.”
Though he is not focusing on his numbers right now, he is looking ahead to the possibility of continuing his playing career after he graduates.
"I definitely think the draft is an option for me at this point," Nemivant said. "It's not something I necessarily expected, but when you continue to grow as a player and surround yourself with the right people, you never know what can happen."
The Tigers’ next home game is May 2 against University of California, Davis.