Thiesse to continue his baseball career at Luther College
After competing for the blue and white KoMets for the past two years, right-handed pitcher and third baseman Kaleb Thiesse has decided to compete for another blue and white team, the Norse of Luther College, next year.
He chose Luther because, “I loved the campus, loved the facilities and the people on campus seemed very welcoming.”
He also liked that Luther was just a little less than 90 miles away.
“I wanted to be a good distance away from home, but not too far where I couldn't rush back if I needed something,” he said.
Even though Luther had all those advantages, he said it wasn’t an easy decision.
“Another school I really liked was Viterbo University. I loved the campus and everything like Luther, but it really came down to the coaching staff. The coaching staff [at Luther] was very welcoming and I knew coming to visit that they know exactly how to get me to where I need to be and possibly even to the next level,” Thiesse said. “Overall, I just felt Luther was the better fit.”
The Norse coaches believed he would be a good fit for their program too.
“They felt I had a lot of potential. I also feel they liked my character and my willingness to work hard and get better,” he said.
His hard work paid off last year as he earned a 2-2 record with a 2.73 earned run average and 38 strikeouts in 33.1 innings.
K-M Baseball Head Coach Matt Franke said Thiesse was one of the KoMets’ go-to pitchers last spring.
“He was right up there last year for our pitcher of the year. He was certainly going to be our top pitcher this year and had a very good shot at our “Cy Young” award and All-Conference,” he said.
He explained that Thiesse’s competitiveness is one reason he’s such a strong pitcher.
“Kaleb is super competitive and is a bulldog on the mound. He wants the ball right back in his hands after he throws it,” Franke said.
While competitiveness is almost always a good thing in sports, they’ve had to work on dialing it down a bit to help him be more even-keeled on the mound.
“Thought his time at K-M we have worked on controlling his emotions and having the approach of control what you can control. It has really paid off for him and I was very excited to see what he had in store this year after a lot of hard work in the off-season,” he said.
In addition to becoming a leader of the pitching staff, Franke noted that Thiesse was quiet leader for the whole team, but would get vocal when he got fired up in the dugout.
“This year was a big year for him and his development as a leader. Unfortunately, he missed out on that year and hope he can gain that at Luther next year,” he said.
Despite missing this season, he said Thiesse is ready to compete at the collegiate level.
“He will be a guy that will battle for a pitching spot, whether it is out of the bullpen or as a starter. He will get on a consistent and yearlong lifting program, which should help him bulk up. I see him as a pitcher only at the next level,” Franke said.
Even though baseball was a big part of the reason Thiesse chose Luther, he knows that the top priority is furthering his education. He plans to study secondary education and science.
While Franke is happy to see him continue his studies and baseball career, he’s going to miss having him as a KoMet.
“We are going to miss Kaleb’s competitiveness and his love for the game,” he said. “He is a great player and even better person and it’s tough to lose those types of kids. We wish him all the best at Luther next year.”