By Jeff Odom
It was a season of firsts for the Academy at the Lakes baseball team, and senior Owen Sarwatka continued that trend April 25 by signing with Oklahoma Wesleyan in Bartlesville, Okla.
The pitcher, who transferred from Tampa Catholic this year, is the only player in program history to sign a scholarship to play in college.
“I’m a little nervous, but I’m excited to get things going for next year,” Sarwatka said. “I’m ready to win a national championship for Oklahoma Wesleyan.”
Sarwatka made a major impact with the Wildcats, helping the team win nine games and come within one win of clinching its first playoff berth. He also threw the first perfect game in program history.
“I was really glad to be a part of it,” Sarwatka said. “I just wish we could have won districts. … I threw the first perfect game, so that was exciting, and I’m looking forward to coming back in five years to see what the program’s doing.”
Wildcats coach Matt Killeen said he believes Sarwatka’s accomplishments will help lead the program to its best seasons down the road.
“It’s really exciting to have one of your seniors sign to play college coming off this great season,” Killeen said. “I think he’s made an impact on the program that will last a very long time. We’ll remember him here for a long, long time, and I think our players will remember him for the rest of their lives. He’s had a very big impact here.”
Sarwatka said he was grateful for his time at the academy and added that he hopes his impact on the team goes far.
“I want to see the school accomplish a lot of things,” Sarwatka said. “I want to come back and see them win districts for the first time and see the school banner put up and maybe a state championship would be nice too.”
Sarwatka is the first male athlete from the academy to sign for the 2013 graduating class and the second in the school’s history.
Oklahoma Wesleyan is an NAIA program competing in the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference.
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