Ex-Bulldog pitches in at Parkland

By JASON BROWN

The Mahomet  Citizen

In Jack Rettig’s first year as a baseball redshirt for Illinois State University, the 2015 Mahomet-Seymour graduate was not happy with his development as a pitcher and decided to transfer.

That decision paid off big-time.

Rettig finished this season at Parkland College with a 10-0 record, including two no-hitters.

He sported a 3.50 earned run average in 61 1/3 innings pitched and struck out 67 batters.

“Transferring was definitely the best decision for me,” Rettig said. “I personally developed a lot as a pitcher as far as velocity, command and pitch ability. We also won a lot of games as a team, which adds the icing on the cake.”

The main improvement Rettig wanted to make was with velocity and location, and during his time working with coach Jon Goebel at Parkland, Rettig saw strong growth in both.

“I think I improved most with my velocity as well as command,” he said. “I gained several mph with the throwing program that Coach Goebel has at Parkland. The command also came with the velocity. They went hand-in-hand.”

Parkland head coach Dave Garcia — who had recruited Rettig when he was a Bulldog — liked the attitude the left-hander brought to the Cobras.

“He came in with something to prove,” Garcia said. “He brought good intensity and a great work ethic, day in and day out, no matter whether it was an off-season workout or a conference game.”

Garcia believes the year of inactivity at ISU did Rettig more good than harm.

“I think having gone to ISU, and not have it work out, he came back with more fire, more intensity and a lot more focus, not only to pitch at the college level, but to  be successful,” Garcia said. “He was an overall leader.”

A few months back, Rettig decided to make another change and committed to play at Belmont University next season.

“It was a tough decision to change from ISU to Parkland,” Rettig said, “but I knew Parkland was right for me. It was also a tough decision for me to choose Belmont.

“I got a lot of insight from my parents and coaches and they helped me through it all, but overall I knew it was the best fit for me.”

Rettig, who was named to the honor roll every semester at M-S, is a business administration major.

Along with the change from high school to college, and then from one college to a different one, Rettig has found a balance between academics and baseball.

“It is very tough to manage your time as a student-athlete,” he said. “Time management is something that took me awhile to figure out, but once you get a schedule and a routine, it becomes much easier.”

After he graduates from Belmont, he plans to pursue a master’s degree in sports administration in hopes of getting a front office job for a professional baseball team.

Rettig was a four-year member of the Bulldogs baseball team.

As a senior, he posted a 3.23 ERA and batted .448. As a junior, he posted a 2.98 ERA.

He was all-conference in both baseball and basketball his junior and senior years, and he helped the Bulldogs baseball team win a regional championship as a junior and the basketball team to an Elite Eight appearance as a senior.

This summer, he is playing summer ball in Champaign for Goebel’s Eastern Illinois Baseball League team.

“It was a fun year with a great group of guys,” Rettig said. “Overall, It was one of the best teams I’ve ever been a part of, so I’m really happy I made the move to leave ISU.”

Rettig was ohe of three 10-game winners for Parkland (52-9-1), which was eliminated in the NJCAA Division II semifinals. His success was not by accident.

“He hit spots well. He threw breaking balls for strikes,” Garcia said. “He kept guys off-balance. He was mentally tough.”

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