Q&A With Redshirt Junior Utility Keenan Brigman
Keenan Brigman has started at five different positions in the field in his two and a half seasons in the nationally-ranked UC San Diego program, aiding the Tritons to back-to-back NCAA Division II West Region championships and three trophies in all, with four on the shopping list this May and June. Listed as a redshirt junior, Brigman will graduate this summer with a degree in international studies-international business, and a minor in accounting. He was one of 12 Tritons from across all sports to be recognized on Wednesday morning, April 10, as part of UC San Diego's participation in National Student-Athlete Day, with his head coach Eric Newman present at the awards breakfast (as pictured below). A true scholar-athlete, Brigman has already been accepted into the Rady School of Management, and will begin work this fall on his Master of Professional Accountancy. He will be recognized with seven teammates on Senior Day on April 28, and may opt not to utilize his final season of eligibility, while he focuses on his graduate studies. For now, he's helped the Tritons back atop the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) standings, with 16 contests left on the schedule as UC San Diego searches for its first regular-season banner since 2012. The stretch run begins Friday night in San Bernardino, with a home doubleheader Sunday at 1 p.m. at Triton Ballpark on East Campus in La Jolla.
Q: You've already been accepted into graduate school here at UC San Diego, starting in the fall. How long is your program, and where do you hope it ultimately takes you in your future?
BRIGMAN: The program is a year long, from fall to spring 2020. I hope it lands me a job in one of the big four accounting firms.
Q: You've got one older brother and two younger ones, and all of you play competitive baseball. What was it like growing up with your brothers in your household?
BRIGMAN: It was always fun to have brothers to practice sports with and hang out with, especially since we were all close enough in age.
Q: Your parents Vince and Shari are routinely at your games and we know they obviously support your brothers as well. That must be a ton of baseball, and a major commitment and undertaking. We sort of envision almost a season-ticket-type draft, so to speak, for the two of them to sit down at the start of a season and map out exactly how to cover games for all four of you. How do they do it?
BRIGMAN: I know they're always running around trying to make as many games as they can! With four boys, it's tough because they can only be at two games on a given day, but they always watch online and support any way they can!
Q: Both of your years as a Triton thus far have ended with West Region trophies and trips to the NCAA Championship. When you made your decision to transfer from UOP, could you envision such success?
BRIGMAN: I knew UCSD was a great program, but I can't say I envisioned making it to the World Series two years in a row. I'm very grateful to have had the opportunity to play on such great teams!
Q: You've been such an asset to the program with your versatility, playing multiple positions. Do you have a favorite spot on the field?
BRIGMAN: At times I've liked second base most, and at times I've liked left field the most. All I really care about is playing wherever my team needs me on a given day.
Q: What was it honestly like being in that incredible lineup last year every day?
BRIGMAN: It was a great feeling being in that lineup last year. I had so much confidence in my teammates, and their success just made me want to come through for them as much as possible!
Q: Does this team have the tools to win it all?
BRIGMAN: We have everything we need to win it all. We just need to find that competitive edge that will allow us to play to our potential.
Q: What has been a favorite memory of yours as a third-year Triton, maybe one general one from a regular-season game or whatever, and one specifically from the two World Series runs?
BRIGMAN: Two of my favorite memories is winning a game in the World Series in Texas (in 2017) when we were down a few runs (can't remember which team). (EDITOR'S NOTE: Tritons trailed Quincy (IL) 7-1 after three and a half innings in an elimination game on May 30 before rallying to a 10-8 victory en route to the finals.) Another favorite memory was beating Chico State in a series my redshirt freshman year (2017) when they were No. 1 in the nation and we were No. 7.
Q: OTHER than your brothers, do you have any favorite baseball players that you like to follow? Favorite team? Who do you think will win the World Series this year?
BRIGMAN: My favorite player to follow is (New York Mets second baseman) Robinson Cano, and my favorite teams are the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A's. I think the Houston Astros will win the World Series this year.
Q: You played ice hockey growing up for a few years. Was that any kind of a difficult decision to make, to go away from that and stick to baseball?
BRIGMAN: It was tougher for me to give up playing football than ice hockey, but it was ultimately the smart decision, because you're more likely to get hurt playing football.
Previous 2019 Triton Baseball Q&A Features
About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.
Follow the Tritons
For complete coverage and information regarding UC San Diego Athletics, follow the Tritons online at UCSDtritons.com and through social media on Twitter (@UCSDtritons), Instagram (@ucsdtritons) and Facebook (UCSDtritons). For more information on UC San Diego Baseball, follow on Twitter (@UCSDbsb) and Instagram (@ucsd_baseball). Head coach Eric Newman is also on Twitter (@CoachEricNewman).