Show-Me baseball

Nationals pitcher Luke Hauswirth eyes a delivery home Wednesday.

The momentum Luke Hauswirth gained with a strong finish to his junior season at Kansas State has carried over to his first couple of weeks pitching for the Midwest Nationals in the Show-Me Collegiate League,

Hauswirth gained the win in the Nationals’ 6-4 triumph over the Queen City Crush on Wednesday. The Nixa grad yielded one earned run, three hits and one walk while striking out seven over the first six innings.

The right-hander has picked up where he left at K-State. Over his last five appearances covering 6.1 innings for the Wildcats, Hauswirth gave up just one run opposite the likes of Oklahoma, TCU, West Virginia and Kansas.

“My first two years (at K-State) were kind of a downer for the ol’ confidence. It was tough,” Hauswirth said. “Things didn’t go my way those two years. This year was a totally new atmosphere with how things were handled with the coaching staff. It got me excited and it carried over to the season. I got results through hard work and having a great group of guys around me. It was fun.

“I ended up getting comfortable and confident with the role I had on the team,” he added. “Our staff is amazing. They guided me toward which way I should go and help lead to my success at the end of the season."

Hauswirth was reinvigorated by learning a new pitch.

“I worked with our pitching coach and developed a slider,” Hauswiwrth said. “It surprised me and him. It’s not devastating. It’s not a wipe-out slider. But I can use it when I need it and it works. 

“It’s been huge for my confidence in my other pitches,” he added. “I know if something’s not right with one of my other pitches, I have three others I can use. I have a more of a variety of pitches to throw now and I know when to throw certain pitches at certain times.”

Hauswirth’s success on the field took two-plus seasons to unfold. But he had long since felt at ease 300 miles from home in Manhattan, Kansas. The idea of transferring never was an option he seriously considered. Fellow Nixa grad Luke Ruder transferred from K-State and is now at Oklahoma State.

“There are too many good bonds I formed there and I was so far along with my degree,” Hauswirth said when asked if he considered a new locale after his first two college years. “You’re forced to make a new family because you can’t just go home and have home cooking. We’re all in the same boat on the team. We’re brought together and are comfortable. I wouldn’t leave them.” 

This is Hauswirth’s second go-around in the SMCL. He pitched for the White River Cobras last year. Once the Nationals announced plans to field a team in the league this year, Hauswirth said it was only natural that he suit up for them. He is 1-0 with a 0.90 ERA, 12 strikeouts and four walks in 10 innings.

“I played with the Nationals growing up, so this is pretty comfortable for me,” he said. “I feel fine with the guys behind me. There a lot of young guys who are really talented. It’s pretty easy to throw balls over the plate and know they are going to make plays.”

Hauswirth’s gem Wednesday was interrupted by a 15-minute rain delay in the fourth inning. He didn’t hesitate to re-emerge after the delay.

“I hadn’t thrown many pitches. I was under 40 by then,” he said. “Right now, I’m pitching into the 60s and 70s, so it wasn’t a problem to go back out after the delay. The rain caught us off guard. Luckily, we weren’t out on the field when it started to pour."

For the second straight summer, Hauswirth is working as a project engineer intern for AEBC in Springfield.

“Ir’s worked out really well,” the mechanical engineering major said. “The opportunity came about and I said, “Let’s do this again.’”

The Nationals continued their dominance against the Crush, with third baseman Carson Shaver remaining hot. He drove in three runs in a double, single and sacrifice fly.

The Nationals and Crush play each for a fourth straight game Saturday.

NATIONALS (ab-r-h-bi) — Mozley 3-2-1-0, Shaver 4-1-2-3, Mitchell 4-1-1-0, Miller 4-0-1-1, Wilmsmeyer 5-1-2-0, McCullough 3-0-1-0, Kamykowski 3-0-0-0, Beverly 3-0-1-0, Ziegler 4-1-0-0.

CRUSH — Cawley 5-1-1-0, Lee 4-1-0-0, Randazzo 4-0-1-1, Lenz 3-0-0-0, Turner 4-1-1-0, Fernelious 4-0-0-0, Stowell 3-0-0-0, Meacham 0-1-0-0, Kellerstras 3-0-2-1, Kennedy 4-0-1-0.

Nationals 103 001 001 - 6 9 2

Crush       000 201 100 - 4 6 3

WP - Hauswirth. LP - Peterson.

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