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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 19, 2018

Baumann spends June in college minors

By Justin Webster | Jul 24, 2018
Photo by: Photo submitted by PAM BAUMANN FHS Class of 2017 graduate Cam Baumann spent the month of June living in Wisconsin and playing for the La Crosse Loggers of the Northwoods League, which is made up of college players in a minor league setting.

Cam Baumann graduated from FHS in 2017 and just finished his freshman season for the University of Iowa baseball team after a stellar five year career for the Trojans.

The left-handed pitcher then spent the month of June living in Holman, Wisconsin which is 15 minutes from La Crosse where Baumann pitched for the Loggers.

La Crosse plays teams like the Waterloo Bucks in the Northwoods League which is made up of college kids playing in a minor-league baseball atmosphere with shortened seasons crammed between the end of the college baseball schedule and the start of the fall semester.

 

The beginning

Baumann was born in Omaha, Nebraska and moved to Fairfield with his family in 2001. His first memory of the area is having campfires with the Fritz and Kool families who were close family friends and neighbors. Although he’s always wanted to pitch and can’t explain his love for the craft, Baumann’s first baseball memory is being a below average little leaguer, if that. He credits his parents, Greg and Pam, for helping him improve his game by taking him around after work and pushing him to be better because they knew how much he cared about it.

 

Iowa City Longhorns

Cam went from bad to good in a hurry and joined the state’s collection of the best players under 11 and was the No. 1 pitcher on that team. The Longhorns were stacked to say the least and Baumann says that over half of his teammates are now playing either D-1 football, basketball or baseball.

As one of the tallest players on the team, Baumann started to grow into his body and believes he had an advantage playing everyday against top competition which allowed him to catch up and then pass other kids who had been better in the past.

During the summer of his eighth grade year, Baumann moved up to varsity for the Trojans, ending his career with the Longhorns.

 

Rookie of the Year moment?

“I knew they (Fairfield High players) were much bigger and stronger than me, but I didn’t feel like they knew more than I did and I felt that I could compete. I wasn’t scared and knew I had the talent to be there. I wanted to get more playing time and didn’t think I would at first, but I had that drive in me even though we had Joseph Hietpas who just set the strikeout record at Northwest Missouri State and Austin Gridley who played college ball also.”

Baumann thought he made his first start versus Regina, but it was actually against Burlington-Notre Dame that he threw a one-hitter with seven strikeouts and two walks in a five-inning, mercy-rule shortened 13-0 victory back on June 19, 2013.

“The rest of the team respected my performance,” said Baumann who added, “I knew I belonged.”

The highlight of his high school career is making the state tournament as a freshmen in 2014 after defeating Centerville 2-1 on a walk-off in the substate final at home.

“That feeling winning that game and knowing that we were going to state was indescribable,” shared Baumann. “The whole crowd charded the field and that was the first time I experienced excitement like that in Fairfield. It was amazing, senior Justin Leonard tackled me and it was awesome.”

 

Ending up at Iowa

“Freshman year we were playing at Pella and the Hawkeyes were watching a junior for them and their recruiter noticed me after I gave up a few runs, but maintained good composure,” explained Baumann.

“They came to a bunch more games and invited us to Iowa City later that year and we toured the whole place and then my family and I went into the coaches office and he asked if I wanted to play for Iowa.

I said that’d be a dream come true playing at the place I’ve always wanted to go and playing the sport I’ve dreamed of playing since I was a little kid and he handed me an envelope with my offer and I verbally committed right then and there.

I was relieved because most players have to wait until years later to make that decision, and I was able to finish my career at Fairfield without worrying about the pressures of the recruiting process and it happened to be my top choice as well.”

 

At Iowa

“I walked in there knowing there were people just as good as me and even some that were better and I couldn’t just pitch the way I did in high school,” explained Baumann. “I would just locate the strikezone and overpower the hitters.

I had to change when we started scrimmaging and I was giving up a lot of hits and walks. We practice everyday and I’ve learned how to be a pitcher and not just someone who throws hard.”

Bauman said his resilincy comes from pushing himeself everyday and not being satisfied with what he does.

“I had a very good summer in La Crosse and I’m still not satisfied with that because I know I can be better than what I did,” said the Hawkeye. “I always have that drive and know that there is that next level I want to be able to reach and further my career.”

He said the highlight of his first year at Iowa was traveling the south for the first four weeks of the season when the weather was insanely cold throughout the midwest and the Hawks headed to Florida, Alabama and Vegas.

“We stayed at New York, New York and played baseball which was great,” said Baumann.

 

Summer ball

Baumann didn’t have to do anything, he was just assigned by his coaches to the La Crosse Loggers of the Northwoods League based on the team’s needs. He stayed with the Schneiders, a family of five that was also hosting three other ball players besides Baumann.

They played 29 games in the month of June with one day off and Cam was at the field by 1 p.m. everyday and there until atleast 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. each night.

“Playing with guys from other big schools like Texas A&M, Duke and Cal was good competition that was fun,” said Baumann.

 

The future

Baumann’s pitching coach for the Loggers is actually a scout for the New York Mets and he’s had others talk to him over the years although he isn’t draft eligible for two more years which is why he isn’t worried about that and they aren’t focused on him.

Baumann prefers the Cardinals if forced to pick a team although he insists he doesn’t care at all.

“I could care less,” said Baumann who explained further, “I would go anywhere just for the journey to explore somewhere I’ve never been. I love all of the MLB players and I admire them all and it’s fun to watch them play and interact with each other.”

 

Thank you’s

“Being such a young age when I committed to Iowa, I had to rely on my high school coaches to communicate for me and they did a great job of setting me up. Also, Impact Fitness with Brady and Danny helped prepare my body for the next level and learn the proper way to lift.”

 

Cup of coffee

Clayton Kershaw is who Baumann tries to emulate, although he admits, “I don’t quite have the curveball he does.”

When asked about making it to the big leagues, Cam explains, “I don’t like talking about that honestly, I try to humble myself as much as possible.

I know that possibility is there in the future but I try to stay in the present and progress myself and If I do my work, good things will happen.

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