Every now and then there’s area athlete that makes me wonder “How is that kid not playing in college?”
New Lothrop grad Nick Johnson certainly fits that category. He was our 2017 All-Area Player of the Year and a first-team All-Stater at shortstop for the Hornets as a senior in 2018.
The kid had 78 hits in a season — twice!
But, up until early this week, I was unaware of him playing at the next level.
He had originally committed to play with fellow New Lothrop alum Zac Besant at Albion College, but didn’t appear on Albion’s opening-day roster.
College plans change, it happens.
So with spring winding down, I randomly happened upon Delta College’s baseball team, which dropped a best two-of-three NJCAA Super Regional series Saturday and Sunday to Oakton Community College.
On a whim, I took a look at Delta’s roster.
No. 22 Nick Johnson, middle infielder, freshman, New Lothrop.
And, as it turns out, Johnson had a pretty darn good season. He finished his freshman campaign with a .354 average (56-for-158), 32 RBIs, 16 stolen bases and 48 runs scored.
Johnson went 2 for 9 with an RBI and five runs scored in the three-game series with Oakton, which Owls won 2-1 Sunday with a 25-1 blowout victory.
Now that we know where he’s at, we’ll certainly keep a close eye on him next season.
Grant Steinborn, Concordia-Ann Arbor (New Lothrop) — Steinborn went 1-for-4 and scored a run Wednesday as Concordia opened the NCCAA World Series with a 7-6 vcitory over Hiwassee College. He walked three times in the Cardinals’ second game, a 6-2 loss to Southwest Christian College.
He went 2-for-4 and scored a run Thursday as Concordia beat Toccoa Falls 10-3. Concordia will take on Ecclesia College today at 1 p.m.
Craig Rainey, Adrian College head coach (Owosso) — Matt Psychas hit a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning and Heidelberg outsed Rainey’s Bulldogs in the NCAA Division III regional championship May 19 in Adrian.
J.T. Gross, Northwood (Chesaning) — Gross was tagged for six runs in 71/3 innings May 17 as Ashland eliminated Northwood from the NCAA Division II Midwest regional with a 6-5 win. Gross struck out five and walked two, giving up six hits.
Gross finished 8-3 with a 5.31 ERA on the year. He struck out 62.
Alexis Andrews, Cleary University (Byron) — Andrews went 0-for-1 May 16 as Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College eliminated Cleary from the USCAA Small College World Series with a 4-3 victory.