Students compete in baseball analytics conference

Attendees went without adviser; say they performed well



Alex Yano, freshman sports management major, says his team at a baseball analytics conference impressed many other schools Monday afternoon in the CUB.

CODY SCHOELER, Evergreen reporter

Four WSU students participated in a competition over spring break at the Society for American Baseball Research Analytics Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

Dante Ludlow, junior sports management major, said he found out about the competition while he searched for internships.

WSU does not have a sports analytics department, Ludlow said, so the competition was new to both him and WSU. He said he hopes this conference can help start the development of a sports analytics track.

“If we can be any part of a long-term shift and eventually having more offerings in that area, it would be huge,” he said.

Ludlow said he was able to get a team together, despite only having three weeks before the registration deadline.

From left to right: freshman Alex Yano, freshman Reagan Stubb, junior Matthew Cho and junior Dante Ludlow.


Reagan Stubb, freshman mechanical engineering major, said when they arrived at the conference, they considered themselves one of the most inexperienced groups present.

“We got called out straight from the draft to pitch in game seven of the World Series with no help,” said Alex Yano, freshman sports management major.

Stubb said they were the only team in attendance that did not have a mentor or adviser.

Yano said there were schools present like Syracuse University that have sports analytics undergraduate programs.

“We were just four kids from Wazzu just kind of enjoying our time,” he said.

Ludlow said despite feeling inexperienced, they felt like they performed well.

The competition they participated in gave them six days to work on a problem regarding baseball analytics, he said. Their prompt was to devise a pitching plan based on numbers from the 2018 MLB season.

Yano said they felt good about their performance. When they spoke to people at the conference about what they came up with, people were blown away by what they did in six days.

“We had more pride as a whole team, even though we might not have won the entire conference,” he said. “We did this all by ourselves.”

Ludlow said the conference consisted of competitions, research presentations and networking opportunities. The entire experience of the conference was important for the group going forward in sports analytics, he said.

“Getting that actual feedback from people who know what they are talking about was really helpful,” Ludlow said.

It also helped him get an understanding of what it is like in the sports analytics industry, Ludlow said.

“Seeing all the competition made me realize I am on the right track,” he said, “but I need to step my game up a little bit more.”