Baseball is a funny sport. Just a handful of plays could go one way or the other and make you the hero or a zero. For Texas A&M pitcher Nathan Dettmer, he’s experienced both at the 2022 College World Series.
On Tuesday in an elimination game against Notre Dame, Dettmer delivered. He pitched seven innings, giving up only three hits, no walks and no earned runs to help the Aggies to a 5-1 victory. Texas A&M has now advanced further than its baseball program ever has and is one of only four teams still vying for a championship, joining Oklahoma, Arkansas and Ole Miss.
One of the first things Texas A&M coach Jim Schlossnagle did in the postgame press conference was praise Dettmer for his timely performance.
“I thought it was a great ball game,” he said. “Obviously [Dettmer] was just outstanding in every sense of the word, coming back on short rest, which is exactly what we needed.”
Dettmer’s masterpiece was redemption for the sophomore. As the Aggies’ top pitcher this season, he was given the ball for Texas A&M’s first game in Omaha against Oklahoma on Friday. Yet he was pulled in the second inning after giving up four hits, three walks and seven earned runs. The Aggies lost that game, 13-8, but have since won two straight.
Dettmer said he wept after Friday’s debacle, but after Tuesday’s win, he reflected on his experiences and how he was able to respond.
“From one game, it doesn’t define me. It doesn’t define me as a person, and baseball doesn’t really define me as a person,” Dettmer said in the postgame press conference. “All my worth is through God, and I just prayed to Him [Friday] night, and He just told me that that’s not my story. He’s got a plan for me and that one game wasn’t it.
“Sure enough, I just had to trust in His plan. I knew He had a plan for me. I had success today and it was awesome. Great feeling.”
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Buoyed by the unshakable love God has lavished on him, Dettmer was able to rebuild a shattered confidence and respond when he was needed in the clutch. He told NCAA.com that the belief his coaches and teammates showed in him also made his redemption story possible.
“I told him he was going to pitch again,” Texas A&M pitching coach Nate Yeskie told NCAA.com. “It’s baseball, you’re going to have some rough patches. Be ready to go again. At this point there’s not a lot of physical adjustments that players are going to make. Just keeping the mind right, keeping him focused on understanding that it’s good to get the bad one out of the way.”
As Dettmer returned to his hotel room Tuesday as an Aggies hero, he again cast his mind to God. He posted a photo of himself on Instagram pointing skyward and captioned it by quoting the Bible verse Proverbs 3:5.
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Dettmer has earned some much-needed rest, but his teammates can’t relax. The Aggies face Oklahoma again on Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET. If they lose, they’re eliminated. If they win, they’ll play the Sooners again on Thursday for a spot in the championship series.
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