Scott Grant will return to Albion College for his senior year with confidence after a successful summer pitching in Traverse City and Niagara, N.Y.
The Orchard Lake St. Mary product threw 67 innings for the Britons from March to early May and he had just a couple of weeks off before joining the Traverse City Pit Spitters on a temporary contract.
"The Northwoods League is recognized as one of the top two leagues in the country," Grant said of the league that prides itself in the development of college baseball players. "I would like to play baseball for as long as I can and this was an opportunity to see how I measure up.
"I still have some work to do, but I think I held my own," he added in summing up his summer experience. "The success I achieved this summer is all the more motivation I need to work hard during my senior year to locate my off speed pitches and to throw all of my pitches with confidence and conviction."
Despite spraining an ankle in his first week in Traverse City, Grant appeared in eight games for the Pit Spitters before his contact ended in June. He returned to his parents' home in metro Detroit for just four days when the yearning to be back on the mound and in the clubhouse proved to be too much and he signed on with the Niagara Power of the New York Collegiate Baseball League.
Logging 16 1/3 innings in nine appearances for the Power, Grant achieved a 0.55 earned run average while racking up 17 strikeouts. More impressive, Grant threw three scoreless innings in the divisional playoff series game against Mansfield and he got credit for the win in the NYCBL championship clinching game by throwing 1 1/3 innings of two-hit ball against Cortland.
In fact, Grant hoped to have gone farther in the divisional game against Mansfield. He had thrown about 50 pitches when a groundball came back to the mound and hit the ankle he sprained earlier in the summer. Grant wanted to continue, but the coaches and athletic trainer decided to exercise caution with the Power holding a 10-0 lead at the time.
"(Pitching in the playoff games) was a lot of fun," Grant said. "I like being in those situations when the environment is intense."
While players in the summer leagues live with host families, Grant said the experience in Traverse City and Niagara was his first opportunity to truly be out on his own. Much like the residential experience on the Albion campus, Grant said the players develop close relationships by sharing the journey.
Grant also learned the attention to detail it takes to be successful from a summer immersed in baseball.
"I didn't see my host families that much because the teams spent a lot of time on the road and it was common to arrive at the park by 2 o'clock," Grant said. "Most guys were on the field or in a film session by 3.
"School will be No. 1 (when I return to Albion), but I hope to take the same mentality from the summer – to not skip the little things, to make sure I'm not skipping anything – and I hope that translates to good grades and success on the field.
"It was the best summer of baseball I ever had. It's an experience I won't forget," he concluded.
Get the latest information on the team by following @BritonsBaseball on Twitter. General athletics news can also be found @GoBrits on Twitter, AlbionAthletics on Instagram and at facebook.com/albionathletics.
Joe and Julie Serra have given a $5 million leadership gift to launch a fundraising initiative to make two dreams a reality. The first is a newly expanded fitness and student activity facility at the site of the current Dow Recreation and Wellness Center. The second is a new or renovated facility for the volleyball, men's basketball and women's basketball teams that currently call Kresge Gymnasium home.
The College is continuing to raise funds in support of both projects. To learn more, call 517/629-0446 or email email@example.com.