Brookhart signs with Indiana Tech

Thursday, January 12, 2023

By Tom Haines

Photo by Tom Haines/The Daily Standard

St. Henry’s Bryce Brookhart, center, signed a national letter of intent Wednesday to play baseball at Indiana Tech. Next to Bryce are his father, Todd, and his mother, Jenny. Standing is St. Henry baseball coach Mike Gast.

ST. HENRY — St. Henry senior Bryce Brookhart signed a national letter of intent Wednesday to continue his baseball career at Indiana Tech in the fall.

Brookhart, who earned All-Midwest Athletic Conference first-team honors in his junior year, is following in the footsteps of Redskins pitchers Ryan Uhlenhake and Nolan Schmitz, now with the Warriors.

“When I came onto campus, I liked how it felt like a big city,” Brookhart said. “Smaller campus but felt like a bigger one. Then, when I met the coach, the deal was really sealed. He’s really open and honest and he has some good values. He will not only make me a better baseball player, but a better man, better father, better husband.”

Brookhart, who plans to major in physical education, chose Indiana Tech over Mount Vernon and Ohio Northern.

Indiana Tech, a NAIA school in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference, is coached by Kip McWilliams, who will be in his 15th year at Indiana Tech this spring. McWilliams is 518-317-2 as a head coach, with five WHAC tournament titles and 12 trips to the NAIA National Championship.

Last year, the Warriors went 32-21 and ended the season with back-to-back extra-inning losses against the University of Northwestern Ohio in the WHAC tournament.

Brookhart debuted with the Redskins collegiate team in late April of his sophomore year and missed the early part of the season with a torn labrum sustained playing football. The injury has prevented him from helping out on the mound, and he said Indiana Tech coaches still wanted him to build more arm strength as he continues to move on from this injury.

St. Henry coach Mike Gast still wanted him in the line-up at the time.

“He probably played the field a little earlier than necessary, but his racquet was so good that we needed him in the line-up,” Gast said. “It’s quite remarkable how far he’s come back from this injury to regain the arm strength he had before the injury. He busted his butt outside of baseball trying to get back there.”

As a junior, Brookhart switched from second place to replace Uhlenhake as starting shortstop. He hit .293 with three doubles, drove in 19 runs and scored 23 points and stole 17 bases.

Aside from Statline, Gast said Brookhart’s greatest strengths are his intangibles.

“Baseball IQ on the field, he’s our shortstop so that’s extremely important to us,” Gast said. “He understands the game, understands situations. He’s an extension of the coaching staff on the field, which is really good…his hands on the field and his leadership on the field are also remarkable.”

In his first two years in college baseball, Brookhart said his proudest accomplishment was being named team MVP by the coaches last year.

Before he moves on, he has an opportunity this spring to add to his St. Henry legacy.

“I just want to play some good, clean baseball with my friends one last time,” he said. “I can’t wait to see how far we can go.”