Ryan Orr wanted to be a part of something that had never been done before.
The Bath graduate is doing just that at Kalamazoo College.
Orr’s right arm has played a significant role in Kalamazoo adding to its record baseball season with a historic accomplishment last week. His success on the mound led the Hornets to their first MIAA tournament title last week.
“Coach (Mike Ott) always talks about creating a legacy and that’s exactly why I wanted to come to Kalamazoo,” Orr said. “I wanted to put some trophies in a trophy case and be a part of the beginning of Kalamazoo baseball legacy.
“This is kind of exactly where we want to be as far as the legacy we’re trying to create. We’re definitely starting to take the right steps. That started with us finally breaking through and winning our first postseason game in the tournament and then ending up winning the tournament.”
Orr, who has been the Hornets’ ace, picked up a pair of pitching wins to help No. 4 seed Kalamazoo emerge as the champ of the four-team tournament. He hurled a complete game in a tournament-opening win over top-seed Adrian and later picked up the pitching win in a 3-1 victory over Hope in the championship game.
Coming through in big moments like the ones last week is what Orr has relished doing during a strong sophomore season that will continue in the NCAA tournament Wednesday.
“It’s been exciting for me because I know that in any given situation and in the big moments I might be called upon no matter if I started the day before or not,” said Orr, who is 8-3 with a 1.71 earned run average and has 70 strikeouts and just 12 walks in 84 1/3 innings.
“I take a lot of pride in taking care of my arm and making sure that I’m ready to go so when that big situation comes up I’m able to come through for our team. It’s been great for me personally that I’ve been able to come through and be healthy enough to do that for our team. That’s exactly what I want to do.”
Orr isn’t satisfied by all of Kalamazoo’s historic achievements this spring. He hopes to help the Hornets, who are seeded No. 7 for the Mideast Regional, make more noise.
“That was our goal and focus from early on in the season was to win the (MIAA) tournament and make some noise at the regional level and the national scene,” Orr said. “We’re well on our way and it was very exciting to get all of that done.”
HILLSDALE COLLEGE: Senior right fielder Connor Bartlett (Lansing Catholic) was named second team all-GLIAC last week. He is hitting .358 with 13 doubles and 11 home runs and 44 RBI for the Chargers, who are 32-22. Bartlett’s efforts have helped Hillsdale make the field for the Division II NCAA tournament for the first time in program history.
TRINE: Sophomore Nick Maher (DeWitt) earned second team all-MIAA honors in lacrosse this spring. He had a team-high 27 goals and 10 assists this spring for the Thunder.
UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO: Freshman outfielder Josh Parks (Lansing Christian) ended his debut season as the top hitter for the Maroons. He batted .351 with 11 doubles, 17 RBI and a team-leading 12 stolen bases. He was named second team all-University Athletic Association on Tuesday for Chicago, which finished 18-19.
Contact Brian Calloway at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @brian_calloway.