2009 Women's Soccer
Erik Kratz talks to Bluffton soccer teams
Bluffton soccer watches Erik Kratz of Indianapolis Indians
Sept. 1, 2009
On Thursday, Aug. 27, evening members of the Bluffton University men's and women's soccer teams traveled to Toledo to see the Indianapolis Indians take on the Mud Hens. A tight contest ensued as the teams battled and took a 3-3 tie into the ninth inning. With one out and a runner on first, Kratz sent a shot well over the left field wall to bring in the winning runs as the Indians then went on to close out their defensive half-inning, winning the game 5-3. After the game both Bluffton soccer teams assembled next to the visitor's dugout and tuned into Erik's words as he reflected for a few moments on his own athletic journey and how he chose to pursue his dream of professional baseball while also being true to his faith and his family. He encouraged the athletes to pursue their dreams and not let the momentary setbacks get in the way.
|Bluffton's connection to Erik stems from Coach Smucker's high school coaching days where Erik played for Smucker on his soccer teams in Eastern Pennsylvania while a student at Christopher Dock Mennonite High School in the mid 1990s. "Even as a senior Erik was probably a number 14 or 15 on the roster, but he always worked hard, says Coach Smucker." Baseball was also Erik's passion and after competing in high school as, Erik would say in his own words, a "below average" player he attended Eastern Mennonite University where his baseball career took off. Out of college Erik was drafted into the Toronto Blue Jays organization and was eventually traded into the Pittsburgh Pirates organization (Indianapolis Indians) where his 2009 season has seen him become a AAA All-Star and MVP of the MiLB game held in Seattle earlier this summer.|