Seymour High School senior Hunter Ahlbrand wasn’t sure if he wanted to continue his baseball career after graduation.
Until one phone call helped him make his decision.
“I started thinking about college baseball this year. The baseball coach at Hanover College contacted me and said that they’d like me to visit,” Ahlbrand said. “ I went in November, and he told me about how they were rebuilding. I felt really comfortable, and made the decision then.”
Ahlbrand signed his letter of intent last week to join the Panthers’ program.
Hanover, an NCAA Division III school, competes in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
The Panthers are currently 13-19 for its 2019 season, and have two senior pitchers on its roster.
Grant Bellak is in his first year of coaching the Panthers. Bellak came to Hanover after spending the last seven seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for Franklin College.
Bellak helped the Grizzlies to a 170-115 overall record, four HCAC tournament appearances, two HCAC tournament final appearances, and one regular season and conference tournament championship.
He also assisted Franklin to its first NCAA Division III National Tournament appearance since 2011, as the Grizzlies set a program record with 39 victories in 2018
Ahlbrand has exclusively worked as a pitcher for the Owls during his baseball career.
He said that he feels like his curveball will translate well to the collegiate level, and plans on working hard so he’s ready for any opportunities to play as a freshman.
“I feel like I could be a guy that comes out of the bullpen,” Ahlbrand said. “I just need to build off practices and work hard. The coaches are really going to help me improve.”
Ahlbrand credited his high school team for his growth.
“My coaches have help me get better every day,” Ahlbrand said. “My teammates have encouraged me to always work my hardest in practices.”
Owls head coach Jeremy Richey said he is proud of the improvements that Ahlbrand has made over the years.
“To see Hunter, and to think two years ago, and see where he is today is a testament to his growth,” he said. “His velocity has continued to increase. We couldn’t be more proud. He will represent us the way we want to be represented.”
Ahlbrand, who plans on studying accounting, said he can’t wait to get to work with the new program.
“I’ve always dreamed of playing college baseball. Now, I get to live my dream,”he said.