Seattle U. sweeps Bonck off his feet, signs Ketchikan ace pitcher

May 19, 2016

Nathan Bonck baseball

Nathan Bonck

Nathan Bonck of Ketchikan was so sure he wanted to play baseball for Seattle University he commitment to the Western Athletic Conference school before his junior season of high school.

He made it official this year by signing his letter of intent.

“The coaches are super cool. They are really committed to their players,” the reigning Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year told me. “I heard from other coaches and their coaching staff really cares about their players more than anyone else I talked to.

“I had multiple junior colleges to look at and talk to but Seattle U. always trumped them just because their a big school, a better school, I feel like. They did a really good job recruiting me because I’m excited to get down there and get to work.”

The 6-foot-6, 210-pound southpaw is a two-way talent that makes him stand head and shoulders above most prep players in Alaska.

As a pitcher, he’s thrown a perfect game this season – his second career no-hitter – and owns a 3-1 record and a 1.68 ERA. He has struck out 40 batters in 26 innings.

Even better, Bonck and catchers Nate Fousel and Spencer Erickson call their own pitches. Usually a coach will signal to players what pitches to throw, but this battery has shown the ability to understand the game well enough to shoulder that responsibility.

“They understand the game and they have fun with it,” Ketchikan coach Andy Berntson told me. “You can see them doing a good job. As long as they’re being effective we’re kind of left that up to them.”

At the plate Bonk is batting .421 in 16 games. In the last two years he has clubbed seven home runs – the most of any high school player over that span.

But just because he’s got star power doesn’t mean he acts like a superstar.

“I’ve always considered myself a team guy,” he said. “I really take that to heart.”

Bonck followed his heart to Seattle University.

“My dad went with me on my first visit. My dad is all about academics and always has been. He was blown away by all the opportunities academically that I will have. It’s a real good school,” he said. “My mom went there with me too and she really loves Seattle. I really love Seattle. It just felt like a good fit.”