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2020 Baseball Season Recap

Blake Bean playing baseball.
Photo by Kimberly Moss

The 2020 Kalamazoo College baseball season came to an abrupt and unexpected end on Friday, March 13 when the MIAA President's Council canceled the spring seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Hornets finished the season at 5-2 overall including three wins during a trip to southern California and the program's first-ever series win over Ealrham.

"Just like everyone, we understand that there are bigger things than baseball but this is extremely disappointing given all the hours of work and preparation that had gone into our season," stated coach Mike Ott. "I had a great feeling about this team and think it was a very special group and we saw signs of that early in the season."

The team showed these signs by scoring 53 runs in just seven games while averaging more than 10 hits per game. The pitching staff worked a 4.34 overall earned run average while striking out 54 hitters in 58 innings. 

Following the cancellation of the spring season, Kalamazoo voted on its team award winners and named sophomore Blake Bean the team Most Valuable Player. Bean tallied 14 hits in 32 at-bats including six doubles, one triple, and one home run. The outfielder also scored 11 runs and drove in eight more. 

Jack Tagget was named the team's Pitcher of the Year as the senior earned victories in both of his starts. During his 12 innings of work, Tagget allowed just two earned runs while striking out 12. Tagget pitched a complete-game shutout in his first outing as he led the Hornets to a 1-0 win over Caltech. 

Kalamazoo had three other seniors outside of Tagget including catcher Nick Kelley, pitcher John Kunec, and outfielder Zach Prystash. Each player played a role during the 2020 season. Kelley, named Teammate of the Year, delivered an RBI double in his lone at-bat of the season, Kunec had four appearances from the bullpen and earned a save in the series finale against Earlham, and Prystash tallied a .308 batting average as he reached base seven times. 

"I want to celebrate the four seniors who have given everything they have to this program. They are all great individuals who I am very proud to have coached. They showcased true leadership this season by not only dealing with this but also with how young our team was."

Also earning team awards were Amani Karim who was named Role Player of the Year and Harrison Poeszat who earned Rookie of the Year.

"We look forward to being able to get back together to celebrate the 2020 season," added Ott. "We are hopeful and anticipate the 2021 season and getting back on the field."