Pittsburg High School senior Dylan Gromer will continue his baseball career at Independence Community College, signing a national letter of intent with the Pirates of the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference.

Pittsburg High School senior Dylan Gromer will continue his baseball career at Independence Community College, signing a national letter of intent with the Pirates of the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to go play baseball (in college) anywhere and I’d just like to further my experience,” Gromer said. “I just really like the coach (Beau Schultz). He sold me on it and I just think I could be a better player while at Independence because of him.”

Pittsburg head baseball coach Mike Wilbert spoke of the impact Gromer made on the Southeast Kansas League co-champion team last year.

“Last year, we played 148 baseball innings and not coincidentally, Dylan Gromer was in 148 innings,” Wilbert said. “He did a super job for us behind the plate, a middle-of-the-order hitter and I think his real outstanding characteristic is his defensive prowess. He does a great job handling pitchers, has a great arm, quick release and eliminates the baserunning threat a lot of teams would like to have.”

Pittsburg finished its 2011 season 16-6 overall and 13-3 in SEK play, sharing its title with the Columbus Titans and finishing runner-up at its Class 5A regional. Gromer came through in the clutch, on a play that Wilbert cited as being indicative of Gromer’s innate baseball intelligence.

“I’m thinking about the last game of the regular season for the league championship,” Wilbert said. “We win that game (against Iola) 1-0. Dylan singles, steals second and catches the pitcher in the wind-up instead of the stretch. A lot of guys aren’t paying attention. He’s paying attention and he’s onto third base on that miscue and they throw the ball into left field. He scores and that’s the winning run. That was all him.”

Gromer batted .265 with 18 hits, two doubles and eight RBIs, as well as four stolen bases, none bigger than his stolen base against Iola.

Despite the fact that Pittsburg basketball wraps up its regular season tonight against Columbus and begins substate play next Tuesday night at home against Labette County, Gromer (a key role player on the basketball team) said he’s looking forward to his senior year of baseball.

“I’m very excited for baseball,” Gromer said. “Hopefully, we can get another SEK championship and add another accolade to my career.”

Pittsburg baseball holds its annual Purple and White scrimmage on March 15.