photo couresy sports information
|Senior Aaron Wiers and junior Mike Ott, Calvins top pitchers, led the baseball team to first place in the MIAA with a 5-1 record, 10-8 overall.
By Ross Weener
ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR
Good pitchers are hard to come by. Just ask the Detroit Tigers. Calvin baseball coach Jeff Pettinga knows he has been dealt a good hand.
It is great for the team to know that whoever is out on the mound, that they will be very competitive and give us a good chance to win.
Calvin has a full house when it comes to pitchers, but they are anchored by senior Aaron Wiers and junior Mike Ott. Led by this highly sought after pitching tandem, the Knights have collected a 10-8 overall record and a 5-1 MIAA mark.
Ott, a product of Grand Rapids Union High School, has not spent his last three years at Calvin. As a freshman, Ott attended Loyola University in Chicago but was unable to play baseball, due to a broken wrist that he acquired his senior year of high school.
I really missed playing ball, said Ott. I remember coach Pettinga while recruiting me always used to say that his door would be open to me. So the chance to play ball and be a little closer to home really appealed to me.
The oldest of two children, Ott is following in the footsteps of his parents as he pursues the goal of being a teacher. Otts father is a recently retired pastor turned professor of sociology at Grand Valley while his mother is an elementary school teacher.
Along with the strenuous schedule or baseball and all the off-season training, the junior pitcher also finds time for a part time job as a Studio Engineer at WOOD radio. The job gives him the opportunity to cover Whitecaps and Griffins games and also play a little DJ.
Since our company owns 15 local radio stations, I sometimes get to come on stations such as 104.5 WSNX and 105.7 and give updates on weather and news.
Our pitching staff is unbelievable, Ott was quick to add. All we need is four to five runs a game and we will do the rest.
Wiers agreed. Our chance to win greatly depends on our pitching staff. If we pitch well then we will win.
As an accounting major, Wiers sees that the numbers could be pointing him to the major leagues.
Realistically, I think that I have a good chance at being drafted, noted Wiers.
With Scouts from the Reds and the Padres looking at him, this 6-6 left-hander is keyed into the business at handwinning the MIAA.
Last year we had no pressure to win, said Wiers. This year we have a big X on our chest as everybody is gunning for us.
Wiers is the youngest of three sons, with both of his parents being teachers.
There is no other for Wiers as he makes baseball the focus of his life. During the off-season he has no part time job, he just continues to train for baseball. Ott and Wiers trained together over the past summer using an instructional kit from Boston Red Sox former pitcher Dick Mills.
Mike helped me develop my slider over the summer, which helped me become a better pitcher, so I could go to the slider instead of an off speed pitch, Wiers said.
We worked out five days a week getting stronger legs and better arms to improve our pitching.