CPU baseball concluded its 2021 season with a loss to top-ranked Marion on Monday, yet a trio of seniors-Bennett McKee, Brody Grawe and Grant Bryant-will continue playing ball in college.
Grawe will take his talents out far east to Southeastern Community College in Burlington this year, committing to the Blackhawks in the spring. Grawe noted the recent success of SCC being a factor in his recruitment. The Blackhawks have averaged over 40 wins over the past seven seasons, including a trip to the NJCAA World Series in 2014. Grawe, who led CPU with 24 RBI and second in hits with 35 in 2021, will do his damage on the mound for SCC over the next two years. He led CPU with 53 strikeouts in 10 appearances this season.
“I liked the coaching staff, environment and their new facilities out there,” Grawe said. “It’s always been a goal of mine to play in college. I feel they can get me prepared for the next level after two years.”
Bryant and McKee will both be staying close to home as they head to Mount Mercy in Cedar Rapids this fall. McKee announced his commitment to the Mustangs in June via social media. The senior outfielder started all 36 games this season for the Stormin’ Pointers, recording 31 hits, 20 runs, 21 RBI and 54 outs at right field. McKee will continue to play outfield for the Mustangs this coming season.
“They reached out to me this year when I didn’t get much interest anywhere,” McKee said. “It’s a nice fit and close to home. My coaches were a big help in guiding me through recruitment. My teammates made me better to get to this point.”
Bryant was the most recent commitment of the three, announcing in July. The Stormin’ Pointer shortstop/pitcher finished his senior year with 29 hits, 22 runs, 15 RBI, and struck out 27 batters in 10 appearances. He chose Mount Mercy over Coe College, stating he felt the former “was like home” and made the decision to pitch for the Mustangs.
“I had wanted to play in college and thought about it my freshman and sophomore season, but hurt my arm my junior year and I wasn’t sure I wanted to or not,” Bryant said. “I felt really good this season, so I felt ready to pursue it. I’m excited to compete for championships over there.”
Mount Mercy also has a tradition of success, including a 34-14 record in 2016 and 29-17 in 2021. CPU coach Tyler Smith stated both SCC and Mount Mercy have reputations for developing players and believes all three athletes have a chance to develop at their next stops.
“It’s really exciting to see these guys get an opportunity at the next level,” Smith said. “Grant and Bennett both work hard and that will serve them well at Mount Mercy. They both fought through adversity, injuries to go on to successful senior seasons. The (SCC) coaching staff does a really great job with developing pitchers. It’s a great opportunity for Brody to focus on his pitching and be really big at that level.”
Grawe plans to study Business at SCC before moving on to a four-year college to continue pitching. McKee is undecided on a major, but states he’s interested in conservation. Bryant is also undecided on his major.