Kammerer caps stellar career in K-town
Mike Kammerer has had a whirlwind week-and-a-half. The East Penn School District resident and Kutztown University pitcher started his last game for the Golden Bears his team’s home finale against Shippensburg on Friday, May 4. Then, the following weekend, the redshirt-senior walked across the stage at graduation and received his diploma, capping a stellar career in Kutztown.
But looking back five years ago, baseball was not a definitive choice, as the two-sport star at Central Catholic also saw success on the hardwood.
Kammerer won three District 11 Class 3A championships on the Vikings basketball team and was an ace on the Central pitching staff during spring seasons. But when Kutztown came calling, it was a quick answer to his future.
“I was unsure of where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do well into my junior year,” said Kammerer. “Considering basketball and if I wanted to play both or not, but when I took my first visit to Kutztown, [head] coach [Chris] Blum showed me around and the rings they’ve won from College World Series.
“I wanted to be a part of that winning tradition. It was that day that I shook his hand and told him I wanted to play there and be a part of their success. The academics and proximity to home were also factors I considered.”
In his four seasons on the mound, Kammerer won nine games, pitching 146.1 innings in 41 overall appearances for KU. This season, he took the reigns as the Golden Bears’ number one pitcher and won a career-high four games.
“Ever since I came in as a freshman, there was always one or two guys who took the initiative to be the leaders,” said Kammerer. “When it was passed on to me, it was a bit of an adjustment, honestly. It can be tough on you to take the ball and know that you have to go out there and win, or throw a good game for your team. But I wanted that opportunity and that is why I came here.”
Kutztown has had success in sending its players to Major League Baseball. Alum Matt Swarmer (2016) was recently named the Chicago Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Month for April. The program’s most successful alum, Ryan Vogelsong, has a World Series title and All-Star Game appearance under his belt, and was back on campus the weekend of the Raiders series when Kammerer pitched.
“It’s that family aspect that really drew me to come here,” Kammerer said. “You look at guys like that and how they still come back and are around our program, it shows you they care. It’s nice to see their successes because I am hoping to get to that point someday.”
With the school year wrapped up, Kammerer will be playing in for the Limeport Bulls in the Blue Mountain League this summer, with aspirations of hearing his name called in the upcoming MLB draft. Outside of his playing and training, he will be giving pitching lessons and coaching pitchers for the Lehigh Valley Revolutions travel baseball team for ages 16-18. The Sport Management major is keen to stay around the game he loves whether as a player or an administrator.
“My goal is to get drafted and play in the pros,” said Kammerer. “I’ve worked hard for that. I want to keep playing and the Blue Mountain League has strong competition and a lot of guys I know from playing with or against them. And with the coaching, I just love the game and want to stay around it and help others.”
The Lower Macungie Middle School graduate has an important month or two ahead of him.