San Francisco State pitching coach Cameron Rowland is looking forward to working with top high school players at an Identification Workout on Saturday, Nov. 7 at Islanders Field in Lathrop.
Rowland, a former baseball and football star at Foothill High, views the camp as important during COVID-19, when many campuses have been closed across the state.
“I think the guys are really looking forward to it,” Rowland said. “They’re able to kind of get out of their bubble a little bit with where they’ve been the past few months and go out and compete.”
SFSU head coach Tony Schifano normally holds Identification Workouts at the college’s Maloney Field, but the campus has been closed due to the pandemic. Thus, Islanders Field, which opened in May 2019 and is part of the River Islands master planned community, is filling the void as a site for modified workouts in a safe, outdoor environment.
Schifano can’t wait to check out Islanders Field, which has quickly become a magnet for college scouts and amateur talent.
“I’m excited. I’ve seen it online. I’ve read about it and I’ve talked to coaches that have been there,” Schifano said. “Cameron Rowland has worked a few camps at Islanders Field ... he says it’s absolutely spectacular.”
Saturday’s Identification Workout is expected to draw over 60 high school prospects and will come on the heels of a Nov. 1 to 2 Future Stars Program 15 at Islanders Field, hosted by Jeremy Booth from Houston, Texas.
“We’re (going to) have a great turnout,” Schifano said. “We’ll probably have to break the day into two parts to make sure we get maximum evaluations and exposure for the kids. You want the kids to feel like they get the best opportunity to showcase their skills, but also to have a learning experience.”
A coach on the rise, Rowland’s baseball resume includes successful pitching stops at Foothill High, Diablo Valley and Chabot colleges, and the University of Nevada. Moreover, Rowland worked on Foothill baseball coach Angelo Scavone’s staff before getting the job at SFSU.
“He’s been amazing,” Schifano said of Rowland's impact at SFSU. “We’ve been in the top three in every category that matters in pitching in the conference in the last two years, and I think that’s a testament to Cameron and his development with the guys.”
Rowland also has strong ties with Islanders Field site director Don Johns, known for his successful Danville HOOTS Baseball Club. Rowland pitched for the HOOTS during his high school years.
“When I was growing up going through the football and baseball in high school, it was tough for me to decide what I was going to put more focus toward,” Rowland recalled. “I ran into Don with a family friend, Mike Piscotty. The (Piscotty) brothers played for Don growing up for Connie Mack teams and really liked what he was all about and really liked how he developed players, and we have a great relationship. He’s really helped me out through a lot of different things from high school to now.”
Not surprisingly, Rowland gives Islanders Field high marks.
“I went out there last year for the first time when they were doing different showcases or events, and Don Johns has done a really good job with that field,” he says, also noting the site’s convenient location in the middle of the region.
At Foothill, Rowland was a three-year letter winner in football and baseball. As a senior pitcher, he posted a .323 batting average and allowed just eight earned runs over 30 innings. In football, over his junior and senior years, he had a total of 146 receptions for 2,250 yards and 20 touchdowns, twice earning first-team All-East Bay Athletic League football honors.
Then, at Diablo Valley College, he played two football seasons, including catching 75 passes for 800 yards as a sophomore All-State pick, before playing baseball there. Next, at Chabot, he was an all-conference pitcher, striking out 72 over 57 innings.
This weekend, Rowland expects to see high school pitchers touching 88 to 90 mph and hitters pounding balls off the outfield fence, but the key aspect will be the players’ mental approach.
“It’s about the day-to-day development and really learning when you’re there,” Rowland said. “The biggest thing is soaking it in, soaking in all the information you can and learning on a daily basis, so you can put that into your daily development and, again, just competing on a day-in, day-out level.”
For information about the Identification Workout, call Schifano at 530-219-1121 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.