Position Change Proves Beneficial For Kloha

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Michigan Senior Writer

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Position Change Proves Beneficial For Kloha

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Lane Kloha

Class of 2023 / RHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2023
  • Primary Position: RHP
    Secondary Position: C
  • High School: Midland
    State: MI
  • Summer Team: Mid-Michigan Fury
  • Height: 5-11
    Weight: 140lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

Position Change Proves Beneficial For Kloha

MIDLAND - Last spring Lane Kloha was given the opportunity to experiment as a pitcher. The former catcher is now a Division I college commit.

“I was a catcher my whole life until sophomore season of high school,” Kloha reflected. “We had a game against one of the lower-talented teams in our league and I threw that game. I went five innings, struck out nine or 10 and didn’t allow a run. I went up to second in our rotation.

“When I played in the summer I started out as a two-way, but that only lasted three weeks. By the tournament I was a pitcher. I ended the summer with a sub-1.00 ERA and threw in the state championship and big games in the regionals. I don’t think anyone saw that coming. I know I didn’t.”

Coach Dan Cronkright, who led Berryhill to its ninth American Legion World Series appearance this past summer, is a former player for Central Michigan and put the Midland High School junior in contact with the Mid-American Conference school.

“I ended up going to a camp there in the fall and got invited back for a visit,” Kloha related. “I committed the next day.”

The 5-11 150-pounder liked the idea of being part of the program located 40 minutes from home.

“I always thought it would be cool to go to a bigger school like Louisville, but I think it will be more fun to beat those kinds of guys,” Kloha explained. “I think that can happen at Central, which is a program that’s up and coming with (head) coach (Jordan) Bischel.”

There is a strong belief that the 16-year-old can make an impact on the mound at CMU.

“The upside is the big thing we talked about … the potential,” Kloha said about what the coaches at Central liked about him. “I mix my arm slots and I come across my body so I hide it for a long time. I just need to keep working on my slider which is now my out pitch.”

Western Michigan was the other school that Kloha talked with the most during recruitment.

“Central was the best fit for me, especially the education,” pointed out Kloha, who has a 3.97 GPA and is looking to major in special education/general education with designs on a Master’s Degree in education administration. “Being a smaller campus size was another thing I liked. It’s still a D-I school but it has a small-town feel.”

Admittedly, the idea of playing at the next level has been an uncertainty for Kloha, whose ultimate plans are to be a principal and baseball coach.

“I always wanted to play college baseball but neither of my parents played sports so it was different for me,” Kloha explained. “It was more of a feeling out on my own. I didn’t know if it could become a reality, I was just hoping that it would.”

Western was actually the first school to contact Kloha, during a recruiting process with limited exposure.

“I fought tooth and nail with my parents to go to a PBR showcase but it didn’t end up happening,” Kloha said. “They didn’t know much about the recruiting process.”

Now the Midland 2023 looks forward to being part of the program at Central Michigan.

“I can’t wait to be around the environment there,” Kloha said. “It’s a loose atmosphere with a tight bond. I’m looking forward to that. I know two guys there that went to Midland High and they both love it. I talked to some freshmen there on the team and they said they’re not looked down on, everyone is respected. They’ve also been to two regionals (2019 and 2021) so I’m looking forward to playing on a successful team.”

And to think less than a year ago Kloha was on the other end of the pitcher-catcher battery mate.

“I always had a strong arm, I  pitched a little bit in Little League,” related Kloha, who last spring was throwing 83 and by summer’s end was in the upper-80s, touching 89. “Now I’ve become a nerd with mechanics and watching other guys.

“I think being a catcher helps as a pitcher,” Kloha added. “I understand setting up guys and seeing certain sequences against different guys. I can also relate to the conversations between catchers and pitchers.”

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