Unfortunately for Victoria baseball fans, Tate chose not to report to the HarbourCats for the summer of 2013 and we never had a chance to see him pitch. According to a very interesting article by Kendall Rogers on D1BASEBALL.com, UCSB coach Andrew Checketts wanted Tate to play summer baseball (in Victoria) and refine his repertoire after a rocky freshman season, but Tate decided to spend the time working out at the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton, California instead. According to Rogers, Tate added 30-40 pounds of muscle over the summer and the rest is history.
Thanks to Checketts’ leadership over the last few years, the Gauchos have evolved into the 11th-ranked team in Division I baseball and they’re poised to make some noise in the upcoming NCAA Baseball Tournament. In a tournament that is usually full of surprises, the underdog story of Dillon Tate will be well worth keeping an eye on.