Aug. 1, 2014
By Alexa Galloway
In early June, as players from across the country moved in with their host families on Cape Cod and prepared for a summer of baseball, one Commodore was in a small apartment in New York City. For most Falmouth Commodores, in early June, the field was their office. For Georgetown pitcher Matt Hollenbeck, his office was located on Wall Street.
"I've always been interested in the markets and the finance realm of things, and Georgetown has a great business school that really set me up with a great internship."
Working at Goldman Sachs, Matt Hollenbeck was one of the first ones in, at 6 a.m., and one of the last ones out by 9 p.m. Even though Hollenbeck claimed the experience was unforgettable, there was still another dream that he did not want to give up on: playing in the Cape League.
"I had been in contact with (Falmouth Pitching) Coach (Mike) Landry and [Head Coach Pete Wilk] at Georgetown for a while. There was a unique situation at work where I was able to leave on a good note, and thankfully everyone there was very supportive."
Still, leaving NYC for the best summer league in the country was not a simple decision.
"It's tough because [with] the way the internship works out, it normally leads to a job offer and I was getting positive feedback at work. I discussed with my parents where this situation could lead and where that situation could lead, but at the end of the day it was my decision and they had my back 100% without any doubt."
Even though life on Cape Cod is a little simpler, where players can go fishing on off-days and relax on the beach, when Hollenbeck reached the Cape on June 26th, his business mentality remained.
"It's a great opportunity to test myself against the best hitters. I'm trying to work on my changeup, fine tune my fastball and improve my breaking ball. Every time you face these hitters, you're just going to get better."
According to manager Jeff Trundy, this mindset has been effective and Hollenbeck has fit right into the Falmouth lineup.
"I'm very, very pleased with Hollenbeck's performance on the team. Besides obviously giving us an option on the bullpen from the left side, which is very valuable to us, the thing that has impressed me is that he's been aggressive and attacked hitters. In order to do that you have to throw strikes and that's what he's done. He's going to be key for us when we head down the stretch."
While working with a new coach in a summer league is not always a smooth transition, Hollenbeck feels right at home playing under Coach Trundy, stating his [Coach Wilk] and Trundy are very similar.
"He always has your back and finds a way to find a silver lining in every game, which I really respect because, at the end of the day, it's baseball and it'll find a way to get you."
While there is not as much hustle and bustle on the Cape as there was in NYC, one thing remains constant for the left handed pitcher: the drive. Hollenbeck boasts a 1.03 ERA with 9 strikeouts in 8.2 innings pitched.
"You have to compete. I came to pitch and I have to perform out here. I know it's just as important to have the mentality that you belong."
Sitting on a white painted bench after a long three hour game at Guv Fuller Field, Matt Hollenbeck was not shy to acknowledge the opportunity he was given this summer.
"I was a finance major on Wall Street, and as incredible as that was, my goal was to be here and chase this dream. It's just been surreal."