By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications, (503) 370-6110
SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University baseball player Tyler Janitz (Sr., SS, Modesto, CA/Joseph A. Gregori HS) has been selected to receive an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. The award provides $10,000 toward graduate school tuition. Janitz, who graduated from Willamette this spring as a pre-medicine student with a bachelor's degree, earned a major in Environmental Science and a minor in Chemistry. He will begin attending Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine in Las Cruces, New Mexico, this fall. He is the 11th Willamette student-athlete to be selected for an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship since 2005.
"I'm truly honored to receive the award," Janitz said. "I am forever grateful to the NCAA and especially to everyone at Willamette for supporting me over my four years as a student-athlete. In the Athletics Department, Robert McKinney (Janitz worked as an assistant in athletics communications) and Head Baseball Coach Aaron Swick served as outstanding mentors and supporters. I now see us not only as friends, but family. It is that family atmosphere and level of comfort that enabled me to do what I did during my time at Willamette."
At the end of the 2019 baseball season, Janitz was selected First Team Google Cloud NCAA Division III Academic All-District VIII, as voted by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). He was named Second Team All-NWC at shortstop in 2019 and was chosen Honorable Mention All-NWC in 2018.
"Tyler is an incredibly driven and successful person," Swick said. "Before he even had an official at bat he was the champion at Willamette's red light/green light competition that broke the top time in the Guinness Book of World Records. He was involved in many things in his time at Willamette and excelled in all of them."
This season, Janitz tied for third on the team with a .321 batting average, and was the only Bearcat to play in all 35 games (34 starts). He scored 28 runs, walked 23 times, was credited with 16 RBIs and achieved a .423 on-base percentage. He hit five doubles and one triple, while providing six sacrifice bunts and one sacrifice fly. On defense, he topped the team with 118 assists and contributed to 17 of the team's 27 double plays.
In four years with the Bearcats, he played in 147 games with 144 starts. He finished second all-time at Willamette with 462 career assists and was fourth with 67 double plays. At the plate, Janitz achieved a .277 career batting average with 83 runs and 61 RBIs. He hit 16 doubles, one triple and two home runs. He finished sixth all-time at WU with 80 walks. He was 23 of 26 on stolen bases. He hit a combined .317 over the past two seasons.
"Tyler was a four-year starter and a team leader ... someone who leaves big shoes to fill," Swick said. "I can't think of a more deserving individual for a postgraduate scholarship than him."
Playing baseball was a key part of Janitz's four years at Willamette, but it was only part of an overall experience that included a tremendous focus on academics as well.
"In the academic realm, I was fortunate enough to have a number of amazing professors in multiple departments who not only understood my goal of going to medical school, but also understood my commitment to baseball, and assisted me every step of the way," Janitz said.
"As I embark on the next chapter as a student at Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine, I will always hold the experiences and relationships I formed at Willamette in the highest regard as I strive to achieve my dreams of becoming a physician for others in this world," Janitz commented.
Willamette's NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Recipients:
Alicia Andrews ('05)
2004-05 Track and Field
Tyler Janitz ('19)
Jordan Loos ('14)
2013-14 Track and Field
Alison Maki ('09)
2008-09 Cross Country
Kimber Mattox ('11)
2010-11 Cross Country
Shannon McGrane ('05)
2004-05 Track and Field
Natalie Muren ('06)
2005-06 Cross Country
Scott Overby ('05)
2004095 Track and Field
Chris Platano ('10)
2009-10 Track and Field
Stephanie Skelly ('12)
2011-12 Women's Soccer
Sarah Zerzan ('08)
2007-08 Cross Country