LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Arkansas Travelers will be sending their very own pitching coach to represent in the Olympics, but he will be pitching for his native country, Israel.

Alon Liechman is 32-years-old and will be headed to the Olympics to pitch after spending nearly two years training after qualifying in 2019.

Liechman pitched for UC San Diego in 2015 and 2016 and then qualified to represent Israel in the 2020 Olympic games.

Liechman said that the COVID-19 delay gave him an extra year to prepare.

“I’ve been working hard at this for the past year and a half since we qualified. It’s been a pretty cool journey, coming here, coaching, getting my work done here before, just trying to balance everything so it’s been pretty special,” Liechman said.

Liechman said he keeps his arm in shape pitching during live batting practice with the Travs, and he said he’s working on throwing his slider consistently for strikes.

“It’s been fun for me I get to face AA hitters to get ready, so it’s been a unique opportunity for me.  obviously never done that before.  It’s fun. It’s good competition.  A lot of trash talk, it gets the juices going for sure,” Liechman said.