After the Whistle: UMary’s Jonathan Draheim’s rise to success in sophomore year

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No hitters are something that is very rare in baseball. In the University of Mary’s baseball history there have only been four, and one of those belongs to Jonathan Draheim.

“I mean I hit those two guys in the first inning,” Draheim said. “That was pretty poor on my end.”

A poor start didn’t reflect the full performance for Draheim as he turned the corner and recorded 20 straight outs for the University of Mary against Upper Iowa in a no-hitter.

“When you’re that feel heavy usually it’s tough to get through the first, and I think Johnny’s no exception,” head coach Tanner Spencer said. “I think we’ve seen it kind of every time out, right? When he survives the first he’s usually in a pretty good spot and we got to hope to get out of there with relatively unscathed on the scoreboard, and few pitches and he’s going to be in a good spot.”

After the bases loaded jam in the first, the right hander went on to strikeout five batters and throw just 86 pitches in seven innings.

“Towards the fifth-sixth inning it was like ‘alright, you know, there’s something there,'” Draheim said. “And you just try not to worry about it. Just try and go out there and throw, keep doing the same thing and try and just let the thoughts flow. Just try and not let it effect you and not get anxious or anything like that.”

During the 2021 season Draheim has been no stranger to success. The sophomore is a perfect 5-0 on the year, which is tied for the best mark in the NSIC, and three of those outings have been complete games.

“Just trying to beat guys in and out, up and down, whichever way and utilize all three pitches and utilize that defense,” Draheim said. “Just trying to do my part I guess.”

But it hasn’t always been easy. Draheim went 3-6 his freshman year. After a year off due to COVID, he’s on pace for more strikeouts this season, and he’s only walked three batters through five games.

“Johnny’s been as consistent as it gets,” Spencer said. “His work ethic is very consistent, and I think that the mentality and the emotional consistency has really come a long ways.”

So what has changed in the last two years?

“Johnny’s really really competitive, which I think is probably his best trait,” Spencer said. “I think he’ll probably tell you his best trait is his change up.”

The change up is the go to, but its Draheim’s slider that he says is most improved.

“I kind of changed it from here or here going down a little more on the ball,” Draheim said. “Gets it a little bit more movement I guess. Just try to throw it like a fastball, and then at the last second just kind of roll the fingers off the side, and just try to throw that as hard as possible.”

Throw it as hard as possible. A pretty simple motto for a guy that good. Draheim just hopes he and his Marauders team can sustain their success through the end of the season.

“Know that anybody in this conference can beat you if you don’t come out and play, and that’s that,” Draheim said.

The Marauders return to the field Wednesday against Minot State.

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