Commitment Spotlight: Mason Koch from Millard West


Cole Peterson
PBR Nebraska Staff

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As the College World Series wraps up at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska, junior pitcher Mason Koch looks forward to taking the field with Creighton in 2022. 

A mid-major program on the rise, he recalls the numerous games watched from the stands as the nation’s best programs battled for a national championship. Now as an official commit to the Bluejays, he is excited for the opportunity to play there every day.

Equally as important in the decision was the academics offered at the university as Koch values his education just as much as athletics. Also committed to Creighton is senior catch Hogan Helligso, who he mentioned has been working with him over the previous offseason.

“It’s everyone’s dream to go to the CWS, and now being able to play their everyday is really surreal to me,” Koch said. “Living up my dreams off standing under the lights at TD Ameritrade really made the decision easy.”

His pitch repertoire continues to expand with each passing year, as he continues to surround himself with coaches who know the game. A member of the Nebraska Prospects, he is grateful for the guidance and teaching given to him during his time with the organization.

One of the biggest reasons for the improvement in velocity for Koch has been learning to use his body more on the mound. Dispatching of the short-arm technique he was taught as a catcher has allowed him to use a full arm motion in his delivery to the plate.

Koch sports a fastball that reaches the low 90s, with some upward movement and late life that makes it jump on hitters. His wipeout pitches consist off a frisbee-like slider and a 1-7 curveball, with a changeup that he says is a work in progress.

“It’s pretty fun to come in and close games and throw fastballs by three hitters to end the game, but in summer ball I’m a starter,” Koch said. “As a starter, I pitch more to contact and out of the bullpen I can let it go more, but I’m ready to embrace any role at the next level.”

He has done just that as he posted a 2.95 ERA over his 21.1 innings of work for Millard West in the spring. He only allowed nine earned runs over the 11 appearances, while striking out 39 batters in his newly found closer role.

The Wildcats ended the spring season as the runners-up in the Class A state championship after dropping two consecutive games to Millard South. While Koch already has a destination after his high school days are over, there is still business to be taken care of entering his senior year.

“We all have a chip on our shoulder because we had every advantage going into those games, and we’re ready to come back and fight,” Koch said. “We’ll be there again next year, and we’ll show them how it should’ve gone this year.”

A right-handed pitcher that works with pace, he likes to get in the head of the hitters to make them uncomfortable at the plate. Knowing what pitches to throw to keep hitters off-balance has been one of the most helpful things Koch has learned. 

Now entering his senior season, Koch will finish up his summer season with the Nebraska Prospects, before returning to Millard West in the spring. Although disappointed to have to leave his Wildcat family, he cherishes the opportunity to stay home and continue playing baseball.

“It’s pretty great to be able to represent my home state and not have to go anywhere else to rebuild my name,” Koch said. “Just doing good locally and staying close to my family is something that I’ve always valued, and it all worked out.”