Bryan Polowy, the pitcher for the North Central Cardinals now has enough accolades to get a big head. Yet the junior from Carol Stream, Ill. is a pretty down-to-earth guy more focused on his team getting better next year than celebrating the individual awards he won for his heroics this season.
This past season, Polowy earned College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Pitcher of the Week Mar.16-22 and Apr. 28-May 4. He was also a First Team All-CCIW selection as well as being the CCIW Pitcher of the Year.
And it does not stop there: he also was named to the ACBA/Rawlings First Team All-Central Region team and as the ACBA/Rawlings Central Region Pitcher of the Year as well as a ABCA/Rawlings Second Team All-American.
D3Baseball.com put him on the First Team All-Central Region, Central Region Pitcher of the Year, and Third Team All-American.
When asked about his accolades, he quickly took the opportunity to point out that the Cardinals had eight people get all-conference, which is almost a starting lineup for a baseball team. Event though this year’s Cardinals’ baseball team was stacked with seniors, Polowy said the juniors and underclassmen wanted to help them go out on top. The team’s first year head coach, Ed Mathey helped a great deal and played a huge role I the team’s success.
“It was a whole new program so it took some adjusting” Polowy said.
“It’s pretty cool to go back and see that I broke a record set in the 1970s,” said Polowy, talking about his 8-1 record, which is the best in Cardinals single-season history. Polowy credits his teammates for his success. “All nine of my runs this year were earned, so that’s probably my favorite stat to look at because it shows that people played behind you.”
As if earning high honors were not enough, Polowy’s highlights of the season included multiple conference wins that proved to be crucial victories to get the team where it wanted to be. Making it to the conference tournament and claiming the College Conference of Illinois and Wiscconsin title was, in Polowy’s opinion, a huge step forward for the program.
Polowy’s goals for next year are to get back to tournament, make regionals, and win that tournament. He is hoping to have another successful season, full of personal and team accomplishments.
“Those individual awards are great but at the end of the day you got to look at it from a team aspect and it’s much more important for me to help out the team any way I can,” he said. “I don’t have to need the same success if we’re winning ball games.”
With a number of Cardinals graduating this year, Polowy knows this team will look very different next year.
“I hope we can get back to the tournament but there are a ton shoes to fill,” he said. “It’s going to be a lot of competition and it’s going to be interesting to see who decides to step up.”
“The most important thing for the team to do for next year is to maintain chemistry, especially since there will be a fresh group of new guys so we have to mesh well from the start and that’s one of the most important aspects of baseball or any other sport in general,” he said.
As far as summer plans, Polowy will be weight-training with teammate Nick Anderson, who Polowy calls a “exercise guru,” and hopes to get bigger, faster and stronger, just as his teammates do, to be prepared for the fall.