At BSA the instructors make the difference. They know how to individualize instruction to help athletes better their game and reach their individual goals. BSA provides education, motivation, and accountability to our athletes. Our coaches consist of former collegiate, minor league, and Major League Baseball players. They have the wisdom that only comes from experience.
Steve Soderstrom is the owner of Backyard Sports Academy. Steve has played baseball at every level and brings a wealth of knowledge and years of experience to our local youth. He opened Backyard Sports Academy in 2004 and added Backyard Ballpark in 2012. Steve began his baseball career playing Little League in Turlock. He went to Turlock High School where he played baseball and basketball for the Bulldogs. Steve was a standout athlete in high school but it was his success on the mound that garnered the attention of major league teams. After high school graduation Steve was drafted by the NY Mets in the 15th Round of the MLB amateur draft. He chose to go to college and attend Fresno State instead where he played collegiately for the Bulldogs. Steve pitched in the College World Series in 1991 and the Regional Championships in 1993. He recorded 269 strikeouts in 290 innings for the Dogs. Following Steve's junior year at Fresno State, the San Francisco Giants selected Steve as the sixth pick overall. He began his professional career with the Giants exiting Fresno State as the highest draft pick in Fresno State history. Steve spent three years in the Giants organization before reaching the major leagues. He pitched for the San Jose Giants, the Shreveport Captains, and the Phoenix Firebirds before making his debut in San Francisco on September 17, 1996. Steve pitched in three games that year compiling a 2-0 record. Steve went on to play for the Fresno Grizzlies and then signed with the Cincinnati Reds in 2000. Steve played for the Louisville Riverbats and retired the following season.
Tate Soderstrom is the hitting instructor and facility manager at Backyard Sports Academy. Tate's experience as a division one athlete brings high level skill instruction and first hand knowledge of what it takes to reach the goal of playing baseball in college. He also knows what is required to succeed. Tate helps coach our travel teams and spends much of his time teaching hitting to our valley athletes using HitTrax technology as a tool for instruction.
Tate began his baseball career in Turlock and proudly wore a Backyard Sports Academy uniform in his early years. A 2017 graduate of Turlock High School, Tate lettered his sophomore year and played three varsity seasons for the Bulldogs earning Captain and CCC MVP in 2017. The Bulldogs were three-time CCC conference champions during his tenure at Turlock High School. Tate spent his summers playing baseball for the NorCal Grizzlies and NorCal Baseball. He traveled nationally playing with and competing against some of the best players in the United States. Tate was selected to play on the Oakland Athletics Area Code Team representing the best players on the west coast. Tate earned a scholarship to play at the University of Arizona and spent three years as a designated hitter for the Wildcats. He played for the PufCaps, GreenBay Bullfrogs, Walla Walla Sweets, and Bethesda Big Train during his collegiate summers. Tate was selected a Cal Ripken League All-Star in 2019. He finished his collegiate career at the University of California, San Diego where he started as a Triton outfielder. Tate graduated from UCSD’s Roosevelt College with a degree in Political Science in 2021.
Jake coaches our 13U travel team and is our pitching instructor. He provides private and small group pitching instruction at BSA.
Jake attended Grace Davis High School in Modesto. He pitched for the Spartans and graduated in 2010. Upon graduation he was drafted in the 37th round of the 2010 Major League Baseball amateur draft. Jake opted to attend Merced College and was then drafted the following year in the 3rd round by the Cleveland Indians. Jake played three minor league seasons with the Indians organization.
Meet Coach Medonca soon...