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Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Former BW baseball player recounts the tools for success

Recently graduated accounting student and former first basemen, Luke Vonderhaar, talks about what allowed his team to thrive through successful seasons.
%28left+to+right%29+Luke+Vonderhaar%2C+Dylan+Snyder%2C+Mark+Mohnickey%2C+during+the+national+anthem.+Photo+provided+by+Luke+Vonderhaar
Courtesy of Baldwin Wallace University
(left to right) Luke Vonderhaar, Dylan Snyder, Mark Mohnickey, during the national anthem. Photo provided by Luke Vonderhaar

Over the past decade, the Baldwin Wallace baseball team has won 50% of their games in the spring sports season, late January to May, with the only exception being in the year 2020. While the team prepares for the upcoming season, one former student, Luke Vonderhaar, a recent fifth-year graduate of accounting, recounts what made the team so successful.   

 

Vonderhaar said that being on the team for five seasons helped him not just as an individual, but as a person. Vonderhaar has posted nearly 160 career hits with 29 home runs. The 2022 team had an impressive 37 wins and a 74%-win percentage, as well as a trip to the College World Series. 

 

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“It was just a good group of guys who wanted to put in the work. Looking back, it’s not that we did anything super special, we just came to work every day came to play every day, and we played hard,” Vonderhaar said. 

 

Coach Harrison has coached college baseball for 22 years, 12 of them at BW. Harrison said that the team’s culture is built on their three core beliefs: “Invested, assertive, and grateful.”  

 

“We have a bunch of assertive players that play with confidence. They are invested in their athletic development and grateful to be at a great university,” Harrison said. 

Among a list of accomplishments, Vonderhaar won Player of the Week, played in the All-Conference Team and received the Clyde A. Lamb Award, an award presented by the Ohio Athletic Conference to ten students who demonstrate enough sportsmanship to reflect on their institution.  

“I was third at bat and our first two hitters were out and I just walked up with a clear head,” Vonderhaar said. “I was against a really good pitcher from Brockport and was just ready to hit,”  

Vonderhaar said he sent the first pitch, a fastball, way over the left fence creating a great moment that brought energy to the team after going down three. 

 

The team went on to win that regional game 4-3 and followed with another four straight wins, securing their spot in the College World Series. 

 

“Every year is unique, and each team builds its own identity as the season goes on,” Vonderhaar said. 

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