Kentlake alum and current University of Washington senior starting pitcher Jared Engman. Courtesy Photo

Kentlake alum and current University of Washington senior starting pitcher Jared Engman. Courtesy Photo

Track the Grad: Jared Engman

The Kentlake High School alum was named the ace of the UW pitching staff, and eyes MLB draft

The emotion and excitement a starting pitcher gets when they run out to the mound, pick up a perfect game-ready ball and eye down their catcher, is a moment that baseball players from 9 to 99 will never forget.

The nervousness, the anticipation to prove that all the work put in during the offseason, in bullpen sessions and the weight room was for this moment. That feeling and rush is what makes pitchers love the sport of baseball.

For Kentlake High School alum and current University of Washington senior starting pitcher Jared Engman, he’s all too familiar with that rush of excitement.

Engman was named the number one starting pitcher, the ace if you will, for the Huskies this season.

He has battled his way to get to the University of Washington, including a two-year stop at Tacoma Community College of the Northwest Athletic Conference. It was in his two seasons with the Titans where he found that pitching was going to be the place he could take his game to new heights.

“I think my journey here (UW) is something I didn’t expect to happen, but it did,” Engman said.

Engman was planning on playing shortstop for TCC, but after redshirting his freshman year, he looked for a transition. Engman only had 30-sum at-bats and didn’t find much success, so he looked at pitching.

“I decided to try pitching because I knew I had a good arm. I am a man of faith. I can only attest the gifts the Lord has given me. Being able to throw 95 miles per hour is not something I ever trained to do. It was just a gift that the Lord gave me,” Engman said

Engman’s sophomore year, he made just six appearances for the Titans on the mound. But because he had some arm talent, the opportunity to play at the next level presented itself. But there was still a thought to play his third year at TCC.

“I didn’t even expect to play after Juco because I didn’t have any options lining up. But then pitching went well in summer ball and the opportunity to play where I am now came. It is a pretty awesome experience to look back to see how far I have come,” he said.

As that man of faith, Engman has strong family support. His dad, Tim, played at Pacific Lutheran University and now goes to every start Jared makes. The rest of his family watches his home starts.

“They love it, they enjoy it. They love getting to come up to the ballpark and just watch baseball,” Engman said.

Since joining the Huskies program, Engman has made 23 appearances on the mound, including a regional playoff round start against Dallas Baptist University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Engman threw five innings and allowed five earned runs in a Husky 9-1 loss. That game served as motivation for Engman and a valuable experience.

“Getting to play in that (game) was a good experience for me to take into this year. I think it is a motivating factor, getting a taste of the playoffs and not having it go the way we wanted it to go,” Engman said.

Baseball clubhouses are a place where people of different backgrounds and cultures come together and form a bond through the game of baseball. In Engman’s case, his journey is similar to some. But he is now placed right in the middle of that clubhouse as the senior starting pitcher and leader of the Huskies.

“I’m not a vocal leader. I am a guy that leads by example, but in my position now I am a senior and have been in the system for a couple years. I like it, I enjoy it. I think it is cool,” said Engman.

Engman is a student of the game, including off the field. Working on his emotions and the mental side of the game is just as important as throwing his slider for a strike in a 2-0 count. He didn’t play summer ball this season, but emphasized his training.

Even as a senior, he stumbled in his first start of the season at Long Beach State. But he bounced back with a solid performance against Pittsburgh in his second start.

“I had a conversation with my coach to just have more fun. I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to perform to a certain expectation. I got kind of lost and I didn’t have the fun of the game in me,” Engman said.

“How I reacted against Long Beach was not a very mature reaction. I didn’t show the maturity that I wanted to portray myself when I came out... Being in the position that I am in, I have to show my teammates what it is supposed to look like when you have those outings,” Engman said.

But in his second start, he went at it with a looser mental approach, and that really benefited him.

“I felt more freedom to go out there and have fun and play. Not putting an expectation on myself, but just go out there and have fun and play the game I have been playing my whole life,” Engman said.

Most kids dream of having the chance to play professional baseball. Even Engman had that dream, but now it is becoming a reality as he enters his senior season. He gives credit to the UW coaching staff for giving him the confidence and tools to make the jump to prospect.

“My first year here I didn’t really know what I was doing ... I started having success and I started talking to some teams. Halfway through the year I was like, okay, this is something I can do,” he said.

“What it takes (to get drafted) is managing the ebbs and flows. You’re not going to feel your best every day, but continue to give everything you have for that day,” Engman said.

The Huskies take on Santa Clara on March 1 with Engman getting the ball presumably in one of the three games against the Broncos.

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Courtesy Photo
Kentlake alum and current University of Washington senior starting pitcher Jared Engman.

Courtesy Photo Kentlake alum and current University of Washington senior starting pitcher Jared Engman.

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