Gateway: Sports

Gig Harbor infielder Skansi commits to Pac-12 Utah baseball program

Zane Skansi is an athlete of many talents. He is an infielder for the Gig Harbor High School baseball team, is ambidextrous, and also plays football.

He recently committed to take his talents to the University of Utah where he plans to play college baseball in the Pac-12.

The journey that he has taken to get to this point and what he hopes for his future is something that all started when he got that initial phone call inviting him to visit the university.

“I was actually down at UC Santa Barbara for a prospect camp meeting the coaches down there and after the first day I was sitting in my hotel room,” Skansi said. “I got a call from coach Brossman and he said he saw me last week at a Pac Northwest game. He said he was from Utah and I immediately thought ‘Wow this is really happening, this is really cool.’”

While Skansi didn’t know it then, that would be the beginning of a story that would end with him deciding he didn’t want to play anywhere else as the stars aligned to make it the perfect fit.

“He said he wanted me to come out on an unofficial visit,” Skansi said. “Everything I’ve worked for just kind of fell into place and I was really excited to be given that opportunity.”

The only people possibly more excited than Skansi himself was perhaps his parents who were the first ones he called with the exciting news.

“I called my parents because they were out at dinner so I called them right away and told them,” Skansi said. “They were ecstatic. They were almost more excited than I was.”

Now that he has committed, the goals he has set for himself are high but he is fully confident that he is going to put in the work to meet those goals.

“I want to come in and try to make as big of an impact as I can,” Skansi said. “My goal is to be able to start. Freshman year would be great but at least by sophomore year. That’s my goal, anywhere they need me on the field.”

He’s confident that he could fill a spot anywhere that’s needed in the infield. All Skansi needs to do is prove himself in the face of some tough competition.

“I’m pretty versatile throughout the entire infield,” Skansi said. “It’s gonna be a battle between a few guys, including me, so we’ll just see how it goes in the fall. Hopefully I perform well.”

How does he rate his chances?

“I think I have a pretty good shot,” Skansi said. “My perseverance and my work ethic give me that edge.”

Upon visiting the school and getting to know the program, what made him choose to move down to Utah didn’t just end with the team. He also wanted to find somewhere that would be a good fit.

“I was just making sure it was a place I could see myself living for the next four years,” Skansi said. “First and foremost I wanted to be comfortable.”

As for what makes him most comfortable, the weather and climate were something that he prioritized.

“I wanted to go somewhere where it was warmer out,” Skansi said. “I’d never actually been to Utah before.”

Now that he has been there, he spoke highly of not just the area but the team that he is going to be playing with for making him feel at home.

“I met some of the baseball players down there too,” Skansi said. “They all seemed really cool. I enjoyed all of them.”

He also expressed how much he connected with the coaches of the team and how they saw eye-to-eye.

“It came down to my relationships with the coaches,” Skansi said. “After the visit I felt like we all connected very well and I think we’re all on the same page with my goals and what I want to do with the team.”

Specifically, assistant coach Jay Brossman was someone Skansi credited with being a compelling figure in inspiring him during his visit.

“He’s been great ever since I started talking to him back around July,” Skansi said. “We both, being people of faith, connected on that level and then my parents really liked him too.”

Gig Harbor High School baseball coach Pete Jansen highlighted how Skansi has grown and the strengths he has.

“He’s really coachable. He’s very competitive. He’s a good learner. He’s a good listener. He has got a great arm. He hits well. He hits with power,” Jansen said. “He has got a lot going for him. I think he’s going to have some fun and do well.”

What does doing well look like for Skansi? It means moving beyond not just college but ideally playing professional baseball as well, down the line.

“The dream was definitely playing college baseball and then hopefully playing pro baseball,” Skansi said. “I feel like Utah will give me the best base and it will develop me the best as a player to achieve my goals past college.”

For now, he has big dreams for when he gets to Utah and has the opportunity to come out for the team. “I want to hype up my guys and be the best teammate and contributor,” Skansi said. “Hopefully during my career there we can win a Pac-12 Championship and make a move into the regional tournament.”

Above all else, Skansi has a love of the game. So no matter what happens, he will get to continue to play the sport that has always been his favorite.

“There’s been something about baseball I’ve always loved,” Skansi said. “Just the aspect of you can change a whole game with one swing or one play.”