Mike Alexander

No.17 shows resolve


Cathie Lawrence

Mike Alexander pitched all nine innings, faced 34 batters and finished with five strikeouts in a win against Mendocino on March 12 with a final score 7-2.

“If I want something, I’m going to go get it,” says Mike Alexander, pitcher for the LMC baseball team. Alexander ended this season with a whopping 74 strikeouts, placing himself as the strikeout leader this season giving him an average of 7.48 strikeouts per start.

Surprisingly, with stats like that, he only made second-team all-conference, but was still satisfied with the honor.

Alexander said, “I started playing tee-ball when I was 4,” and since that time, he hasn’t felt the same without baseball.

But Alexander ended up straying from that path, and in the winter of 2009, Alexander was introduced to Oxycontin. he was spending time with some friends, and “a line kind of appeared.” Alexander caved in to peer pressure. “The next thing I knew, I was addicted.”

He stuck around DVC until early February, when he dropped out and moved to Monterey in an attempt to get clean on his own. “I ended up going to rehab in Berkeley for three days,” Alexander said. Ultimately, the need for a fix was too strong, and he spent the next one and a half years hunting the next high.

Alexander eventually moved down to Southern California. “I moved to Huntington Beach and stayed with my mom,” he said. Alexander began attending Orange Coast College while still under the influence.

In April of 2012, he checked himself into Morningside Recovery in Newport Beach. “I got sick of a pill controlling every single moment of my life,” said Alexander.

“I was in detox for 8 days,” he said. “There was nothing for you to do in detox except play board games and smoke cigarettes. A lot of cigarettes.”

Once out of detox, Alexander stayed in something like a house, in a semi-independent living situation. “They gave you $75-150 a week for groceries. They taught you how to live life without the pill.” Alexander’s recovery would ease him into a routine. “You woke up at 7:30, did your meditation, made yourself breakfast and then went to the morning meeting.”

“I was there for about four months,” he said. In August later that year, Alexander emerged clean and sober.

“I went back to Orange Coast College,” Alexander said. “I really wanted to focus on school. Unfortunately I got put on academic suspension, and had to transfer.” Alexander began taking classes at Cypress City College and Fullerton City College. Even after just coming out of recovery, Alexander kept baseball as a part of his life, even if it was only the rare game of catch with a friend.

In the fall of 2013, Alexander got the itch. “I felt like I needed to be doing something,” he said. That something was baseball.

“I tried out at OCC,” said Alexander. “I didn’t make the team, which was expected, but still a blow. I was out of shape and hadn’t really touched a baseball in a long time.”

Deflated, Alexander returned to his focus on academics and his occasional game of catch, but in March of 2014, the itch returned.

“My dad suggested calling Ken,” said Alexander. Ken Acosta was his high school pitching coach. “When we first met, I didn’t think he knew what he was talking about,” Alexander admitted with a chuckle. “I was an ignorant adolescent.” Alexander continued, “I’d do something wrong, I’d feel it, and Ken would point it out.” He jokingly said that he began to think Acosta might know what he was talking about.

He started seriously training again in March, and when he contacted Acosta, Alexander made the move back up here and was given a bullpen session to try out for LMC.

Alexander now comes off of a fantastic debut season, and is hopeful for the future. With strong determination and a rekindled flame Alexander has something to demonstrate. If Alexander wants something, he’s more than proven that he’ll take the steps to get it. He’s handled addiction to begin handling a baseball once again.

Mike Alexander
Cathie Lawrence
Mike Alexander