Rockford Christian's Rans gets ready to play baseball at Wheaton College
Most, if not all, high school athletes dream of playing in college, and junior year is considered a crucial season for recruiting purposes. Rockford Christian's Jacob Rans nearly missed getting noticed by baseball coaches. Thankfully one school is taking a chance on him.
"It was a little bit frustrating, but it really showed me that baseball is something I want to do. I want to push through this and come back better than I was before."
Ever since he was a kid, Rans has had tunnel vision, focused on playing college baseball. However, he almost missed his opportunity two years ago. Rans had Tommy John surgery before his junior season. A setback for the southpaw.
"It sort of makes you question whether or not what you're doing is working out the best for you," explained Rans. "How can I sort of redesign my training to be able to have my arm be a little bit more bulletproof going and throwing all these long innings."
Rans bet on himself. After recovering from surgery, he emailed the head baseball coach at NCAA DIII Wheaton College.
"He came out and really liked what he saw and they made me an offer a couple weeks later. So, it worked out really well."
Rans played in a few tournaments last summer on a pitch count. Couple that with the coronavirus canceling his senior year, and the lefty hasn't pitched much the last two years. But that hasn't stop the competitor in him.
"I love to compete. I love to go out and play," said Rans. "But I also really love the training atmosphere of it. With all the weights, lessons, going out and throwing bullpens and stuff. That's really a big part of why I love the game so much."
"I haven't missed out on a lot of that. I've still been training, working hard towards that goal of playing college baseball and it's cool to see everything coming in to fruition now."
Rans continues to train and prepare for college on his own, but will soon join his travel baseball team at the Rockford Baseball Academy for practice as they get ready for the summer.