February 3, 2015
The Iowa Lakes Community College baseball team got a big commitment from a big kid from Alaska.
Anchorage’s Joe Fitka – all 6-foot-6, 200 pounds of him –was one of 11 players to sign during the early signing period as part of the biggest recruiting class in school history. He will be eligible to play this fall.
“Joe is a key part of our recruiting class,” Iowa Lakes coach Joey Pavlovich told the Dickinson County News. “We needed frontline pitching due to us losing so many of them this year and he could be an absolute monster here.”
Fitka, of Dimond High fame, was an all-league first baseman last spring in the Cook Inlet Conference. He has a quick swing with some pop.
In the fall he participated in the Arizona Fall Classic with the Alaska Baseball Academy. He pitched pretty well in front of dozens of college scouts, allowing 3 runs in 5 innings.
“Joe is a good kid and I see him being a very successful JC ballplayer,” ABA coach Tony Wylie told me. “He throws a mid-80s fastball now, but that will improve quickly once he’s in a full-time throwing program.”
Iowa Lakes coach Pavlovich believes Fitka has all the tools to help Iowa Lakes compete on a national level.
“Joe has an outstanding changeup and curveball, and a good feel for the strike zone,” he said. “In our system, I don’t see why he can’t be at 90 [mph] next year.”
The coach also thinks Fitka has what it takes off the field to handle the transition from high school to college, Alaska to Iowa.
“We really enjoyed being around his family and have been in great communication with them, especially with a guy coming from that far away,” Pavlovich said. “We are more than excited to see how he progresses once he comes to campus.”
This story was written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage and the ALB Media Director.