Chase Gerbrick had the itch to play baseball as a 5-year-old in his parents’ garage in Aurora, Ohio.
He played catch with his father, Chris, and brother, Carter, for countless hours. Whenever he wasn’t practicing, Gerbrick enjoyed studying baseball on TV and by reading books.
Gerbrick’s passion for baseball never dissipated. His hunger to improve and develop into a Division I collegiate baseball player has driven him the last 11 years. In November, Gerbrick committed to Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee where he will be a freshman in 2022.
“Baseball is the game of life,” said Gerbrick in a phone interview. “It’s a game of inches, a game of failure. I love the challenge and competing.”
Gerbrick had the awareness from a young age and possessed a tireless work ethic. He always dreamed of playing Division I baseball and spent hours practicing with his older brother’s team to learn from players with more experience than him.
He credits his brother and his family for inspiring him to chase his dreams and accomplish his baseball goals.
“I have phenomenal people in my corner, from my parents and brother to my grandparents, aunts, and uncles,” Gerbrick said.
While Gerbrick’s love for baseball is boundless, his mindset towards the game required improvement. It took the youngster a period of time to embrace the challenges that came with developing as a player.
Gerbrick recalls a mistake he made in a game at 12 years old that he believes shaped his development. The middle infielder committed an error on a routine ground ball and dwelled on the mistake for the next few innings, which affected him in the batter’s box, he said. It was an important lesson for Gerbrick and taught him to stay mentally strong, even if he faces adversity.
“When my morale was down, the other players’ morale also decreased,” Gerbrick said. “I always wanted a short-term process, to be an optimal player right away. As time went on and I interacted with certain people, I realized that being a great baseball player is a long-term development. It allowed me to mature and grow on and off the field.”
Tyler Mitchell became influential in Gerbrick’s development. Mitchell is a coach at the Prospect Performance Academy, a mere 10 minutes from Gerbrick’s home, and has helped Gerbrick become stronger physically and mentally.
“Chase always wants to know the ‘why’ of what he is doing,” Mitchell said. “He thinks for himself instead of relying on others. His understanding of his swing, his body and the ins and outs of the game will give him an edge over his competition.”
Gerbrick trains at the academy about four days a week. With Mitchell’s assistance, Gerbrick focuses on his attention to detail, whether it is warming up for 30 minutes, working on visualizing the pitch or taking live at-bats in the batting cage.
Mitchell helped prepare Gerbrick for high school baseball with Aurora High School. As a freshman last year, Gerbrick knew he needed to provided positive energy and show leadership traits. For Michael Brancazio, Aurora’s baseball coach, Gerbrick’s determination increased his role on the team.
“Chase got better each and every day,” Brancazio said. “I commend him for improving his switch-hitting ability, which allowed him to hit at the leadoff spot. Chase wants to do what is best for the betterment of the program.”
In his freshman year, Gerbrick, a switch-hitter, hit .319/.448/.347 over 69 at-bats with 22 hits and 16 RBIs. This captured the attention of Lipscomb’s baseball program in Nashville, Tennessee. When Gerbrick visited the campus, the atmosphere at Lipscomb appealed to him.
He received interest from Texas Christian University, Oregon State, North Carolina and Georgia but felt Lipscomb was the best fit for him.
Now in his sophomore year of high school, Gerbrick faces a new challenge. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Aurora High School canceled the spring sports season, which includes baseball. With the state’s stay-at-home order extended until May 1, as well as social distancing guidelines, Gerbrick is spending most of his time at his family’s home.
Gerbrick is maintaining his baseball readiness by doing sprints, weight training and hitting off a tee in his backyard. He is remaining unfazed and focused on improvement, even with no sophomore season this year.
“I expect a lot of myself,” Gerbrick said. “I have the motivation to bring a lot to Lipscomb and beyond. If I ever have the opportunity to play for a professional baseball organization, I’ll do whatever it takes to bring success.”