Utica College baseball’s new record holder, Griffin Baur

Photo+from+Laurel+Simer+and+Utica+College+Athletics.

Photo from Laurel Simer and Utica College Athletics.

Nick McAdam, Editor-in-Chief

Griffin Baur, a Utica College graduate student and pitcher for the baseball team, is now a record holder of the team with the most career wins with 14 and the most careers starts with 33. The records have beaten accolades set by Mark Dodge for most wins in 1979 and Chris Jeffers for most starts from 2011 to 2014.

The baseball team is on a streak to kick off the season. Utica holds a record of 6-3 with defining wins against Wells College by the score of 13-3 and Houghton College this past weekend, winning 13-4. The team’s .667 win percentage is already on pace to perform much better than the team’s 2019 record of 15-24 as, in that season, the Pioneers lost eight of its first 10 games.

Baur, as a result, has been a definitive part of the team’s success early on in the season. At the moment, he holds 18 strikeouts, a 1.08 WHIP average, a 3.00 ERA and a 2-0 record. In his career with the team, Baur holds a record of 12-11 with 117 strikeouts. According to the team’s individual records page, Baur currently resides near the top all-time in strikeouts and wins.

Baur resides from New York Mills, a village just outside of Utica. It was there where he’s been playing baseball for as long as he can remember. In a sense, the game has become a lifeline for him. He’s come a long way since watching New York Yankees games as a child, accumulating accolades in both little league and high school play.

“I’ve thrown two no-hitters in my career,” he said. “Those were probably the most exciting moments I’ve had in my career.”

Baur had an initial feeling early on in the season that he’d have a good shot at breaking some of the records established over the program’s history. However, it wasn’t until he read a game recap from a few weeks ago that he was even aware of how close he was to become a part of the program’s books.

“It’s an awesome feeling knowing that I was able to accomplish these records,” he said. “I knew with a win and the start I would break the record, so once the game ended Saturday I knew I had broken them.”

Photo of a young Griffin Baur, from Griffin Baur.

One of his coaches, Zachary Landy, who works closely with the pitchers of the team, always knew of Baur’s raw talent back when he was a first-year player in 2017. Yet, over the course of time, Landy noticed development in Baur’s mental ability toward pitching, which, according to him, brought Baur to the next level.

“He has great attention to detail and is constantly asking questions and trying to find new ways to enhance his game,” Landy said. “The biggest thing that he and I have been working on is improving his weekly routine leading up to his start and then his pre-game routine the day of his start. I have thrown some different ways of going about his preparation and believe he has really bought in on all of them leading to his success this season.”

Both Baur and Landy attribute much of the team’s success to chemistry and experience. A total of 18 players on the roster are either seniors or graduate students. Landy noted that these players have stepped up to not only apply their respective experience to the field but taking a firm leadership role with the rest of the team as well.

“We are more focused and more experienced this year,” Baur said. “We have a few guys, like myself, who are back for the fifth year. Last year we had a lot of freshmen playing, so part of the struggle was early season jitters for young players. We’re a much better hitting team this year and our pitchers are throwing very well.”

The baseball team has one of the more lengthy schedules of all of the sports operating during the spring semester, a part of an ongoing initiative from the athletic department and the Empire 8 to run all collegiate sports at the same time. 

For Baur, he’ll be looking to add to his bachelor’s degree in accounting with his master’s degree in May in public accountancy. According to Baur, he’ll be looking to join an accounting firm after graduation while pursuing his CPA certification.