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‘This is probably the happiest day of my life’

by IAN BIVONA
Sports Reporter | November 12, 2022 4:04 PM

MOSES LAKE – Friends, family, fellow classmates and coaches gathered inside the gymnasium at Moses Lake High School on Friday for senior Michael Getzinger’s ceremonial signing of his National Letter of Intent to play baseball at Gonzaga University.

“This is probably the happiest day of my life,” Getzinger said. “I’m excited to start something new, and I’m really ready to go make some memories and go win some games with Gonzaga.”

Getzinger, a right-handed starting pitcher, said he’s been committed to the Zags since he was 15 years old, having started to take the game seriously when he was 14. The Bulldogs began recruiting Getzinger when he was entering his sophomore year with Moses Lake.

“It’s a long time coming – I’ve been committed since I was 15, this is surreal,” Getzinger said. “I’m just ecstatic about everything. I’m very excited and very thankful to be in this position that I’m in.”

Rochelle Getzinger, Michael’s mother, said that she believed Michael would end up playing basketball because his father, James Getzinger, is a big basketball fan.

“He played tee ball when he was about four years old, and we thought he’d never do it again,” she joked.

Donning a Gonzaga Baseball long-sleeve shirt, Michael Getzinger said that he found his love of the sport shortly after joining a team in Spokane.

“I developed a love for it as soon as I started playing for a team in Spokane, I was mainly local but then I decided it was time for a change,” Michael Getzinger said. “I wanted something new, and as soon as I did that I fell in love with it.”

His father said that teams wanting him to play for them gave confidence to the young pitcher, which helped him land in his current position.

“It helps when you’re decent,” James Getzinger said. “People wanted him to play for them, and I think he got a little confidence that people wanted him to play for them. It was Spokane from there, and here we are – he’s gonna go to college in Spokane.”

College interest began after a performance in a tournament in Seattle, where schools began to want to recruit Getzinger.

“He went over there and killed it,” Rochelle Getzinger said. “He had all his buddies from all over the Pacific Northwest there, he was going against some of the best competition and had some of the best competition surrounding him. All of a sudden, he comes running over with all of his buddies and saying ‘You’re getting phone calls, get ready to make some phone calls.’”

Shortly before signing the ceremonial NLI, a life-size cardboard cutout of the rapper Snoop Dogg made an appearance behind the table littered with memorabilia from Gonzaga and photos of Michael playing baseball.

“That’s kind of my mom’s deal, but I love Snoop Dogg,” Michael Getzinger said. “I love old music, and rap is really where it’s at. That kind of was the reason for him being here today. We bought that for my mom’s birthday a couple years ago, and decided to stick it around.”

Michael‘s pregame routine when arriving at the field consists of energy drinks and listening to Lil Wayne.

“I show up to the field, pound a Monster Energy drink, listen to some music and I’m ready to go,” Getzinger said. “I throw fastball, and I throw changeup, curveball, slider as well.”

Upon completing a senior season with the Mavericks and graduating from Moses Lake, Michael will be playing with the Badlands Big Sticks, a summer collegiate baseball team based in Dickinson, North Dakota.

“The Gonzaga coach actually placed me on that team, and he made a roster spot for me,” Michael Getzinger said. “I’m very excited to go there, get a new experience in another state.”

Both James and Rochelle Getzinger thanked the Moses Lake community as well as past teammates and coaches for helping their son reach college ball.

“He’s had a lot of support from this community and all of his coaches,” James Getzinger said. “It means a lot to us that people would show up and want to be here for that. We’re very blessed.”

“A big part of Michael’s journey is the people he’s surrounded with, they were his teammates,” Rochelle Getzinger said. “They made everything better.”

Michael will enroll at Gonzaga in the Fall 2023 semester.

“I had a couple of other places that I could have gone to, but it’s family there,” Michael Getzinger said. “It’s the best place for me, and I think it’s the best place for anybody that is looking for a family.”

Ian Bivona may be reached at ibivona@columbiabasinherald.com.

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IAN BIVONA/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

Moses Lake senior Michael Getzinger (front row, middle right) smiles and takes photos with family at the ceremonial signing of his National Letter of Intent.

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IAN BIVONA/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

A cardboard cutout of Snoop Dogg made an appearance at Michael Getzinger’s ceremonial National Letter of Intent signing on Friday. Getzinger said that the cutout was originally bought for his mother’s birthday a few years ago.

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IAN BIVONA/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

Right-handed pitcher Michael Getzinger signs his ceremonial National Letter of Intent on Friday at the Moses Lake High School gym.

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