WATERTOWN, Wis. -- The Maranatha Baseball Program wrapped up a season of uncertainty on May 1, as they only played on 9 different days and had 10 games get cancelled to COVID-related restrictions. Aside from that, the team was limited to practicing indoors until their first game, meaning that the first time they faced live pitchers was during the first official game of the season.
Finding a rhythm was tricky, to say the least.
Not only did the team face multiple scheduling challenges, but they also faced personnel challenges. The Sabercats lost 5 pitchers - 4 starters - between the fall and spring semesters and they returned just 8 men from the 2020 roster. Even though they went winless in the 18-game season, the team battled through all of the factors stacked firmly against them.
"We had a lot against us," said Coach Gary Garrison. "But these guys really showed up and took up the slack, and I want to commend them for that. Several guys had to adjust and fill pitching roles, and guys had to play different positions with 8 new faces in the starting lineup.
"Seniors Caleb Huthmaker, Nate Croswell, David Hecker, and Kile Arp provided great leadership on and off the field, and I'm very proud of those guys. Even though the 2021 season was a disappointment in some ways, the brotherhood has developed into a tight-knit bond."
The team kept grinding, and they posted their best offensive showing of the season in their final game, scoring 7 runs off of 11 hits against North Central on the final day of the season. That performance was just a microcosm of the persistence they showed during the 2021 season - a season filled with adversity.
The team awards from Coach Garrison were as follows:
Offensive MVP - David Cripps
Defensive MVP - David Cripps
Overall MVP - Shane Paruch
Pitching Ace - Sam Ratledge
Coach's Award - Caleb Huthmaker
The team honored 3 seniors that completed 4 seasons - Nate Croswell, David Hecker, and Caleb Huthmaker all completed their 4-year careers at Maranatha.