SAN ANGELO, Texas — It’s been a long journey for Angelo State senior outfielder Josh Elvir.
But a rewarding one.
The 2019 Division II National Player of the Year has recovered from Tommy John surgery, was cut from the University of Houston’s baseball program and even had his junior college coach attempt to tweak his swing.
“Everybody’s different and everybody’s mechanics are different,” Elvir said in a 2020 interview with Hustle Baseball. “Everybody has a feel for different things and that just wasn’t my thing. At that point, I just needed to make a decision and go to a place where I could be myself.”
That same sweet left-handed swing led the Kemah, Texas native to 45 career home runs in the Lone Star Conference (and counting).
“One of the main messages I want to relay to everybody is believe in yourself,” Elvir said in the 2020 interview. “When I got cut from the University of Houston, I thought it was over. I truly thought I was done with baseball.”
Elvir smashed his 44th career long bomb against West Texas A&M on the opening night of the NCAA South-Central Regional Baseball Championship, which broke a 13-year-old record set by University of Central Oklahoma’s Breck Draper in 2008.
“I almost got a little teary-eyed because I’ve been chasing that record for awhile,” Elvir said. “Finally getting that home run took a lot of stress off my end and it’s a lot of weight off my shoulders and I couldn’t be more excited.”
Rams Head Coach Kevin Brooks, who was a big influence in recruiting Elvir, had huge praise for the 2021 LSC Player of the Year following a 10-2 win over the Buffs.
“Man, it was awesome,” Brooks said. “It was a big win for us. It got us up 3-0 and I couldn’t be more happy for him. The best kid, hardest worker and best player I’ve ever coached.”
This season, Elvir sits atop the conference in hits (75) and doubles (21), ranks second in runs batted in (58) and home runs (13) while compiling a .397 batting average, which is fourth-best in the LSC.
“He’s just a really, really great kid,” Elvir’s longtime trainer Hondo Medellin said. “My son looks up to him. Josh wore a headband into the facility and now my son wears a headband. It’s been fun just because my son gets to look up to a kid like Josh.”
“Josh has been a great worker, a hard worker his whole life,” Medellin added. “To see him accomplish these things, I know he deserves it.”
The Rams dominated in the NCAA South-Central Regional Baseball Championship, outscoring opponents 33-8 and punching their ticket to the D-II College World Series for the first time since 2016.
Elvir will have a chance to add to his career home run record while Angelo State competes for its first National Championship in Cary, North Carolina.