TAMPA, Fla. – For many kids growing up, baseball is a hobby or their parents’ reason to get them out of the house. For University of Tampa relief pitcher Bo Weiss, it was his destiny even before he was born.
Weiss, the son of former major leaguer Walt Weiss, achieved his lifelong dream of attending the University of North Carolina – the school his dad went to and one he grew up loving.
When a starting position was still an uphill battle after two years in Chapel Hill, N.C., Weiss found himself in Tampa, playing for the 2019 Division II national champions under coach Joe Urso.
“UNC was always my dream school,” he said. “My dad went there. It was really a dream come true to go there – but you know ultimately, it just wasn’t a great fit for me.
“I really liked what they had going on here at Tampa so it was a great transfer, and they made the transfer process really easy for me.”
In Weiss’ first season playing for Tampa as a junior, he appeared in six games and had at least three strikeouts in four of those games, making a statement with 16 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings.
As a senior, Weiss has had 12 strikeouts in nine innings and saves in their past two games, against Bridgeport (Conn.) and Albany (GA) State.
“The style of play at Tampa is definitely a little different than what was there [at UNC],” Weiss said. “It took a little bit of adjusting to get used to but now, as far as my style of play, everything I’d say stayed pretty consistent.”
“I was trying to take a step back and slow the game down (Monday night against Bridgeport). I didn’t do the best job of that and it was a little scary. But, yeah, the biggest thing is just trying to breathe in those situations and not to get going too fast.”
Urso said his faith in Weiss doesn’t come from his background or his bloodline. It comes from his resilience and talent.
“He’s battled some injuries, so he’s had to take a long road, unfortunately, but he’s come in the game the last three weeks with the game on the line and got a save for us this past weekend and last night again,” Urso said.
“I think he’s starting to make his own name now and I know that’s not always easy when you’re the son of a big leaguer that’s had so much success.”