He led the nation and the conference last season as a catcher by throwing out 76% of runners that tried to steal on him. Now back from an extended break due to the pandemic, sophomore baseball player Garret Suiter is ready to take the diamond in a newly renovated Jaguar Field for the 2021 season.
“To work on a craft for so long and to be successful with it, it’s exciting for me and it kind of all paid off and clicked,” Suiter said. “I couldn’t picture myself not catching honestly. I like being in a position where I can control things.”
Suiter is a business administration major with a concentration in Digital Marketing and joined the Jaguar baseball team in 2019 as a catcher. The Jaguar baseball team is a Division-II affiliate of the NCAA and competes in the Peach Belt Conference. Augusta played only 20 games last season in 2020 before COVID-19 forced a cancellation. Suiter recorded two hits and a pair of RBI in what would be the final series of the season before the pandemic.
“We kind of saw the severity of it at the start in seeing the lives it affected,” Suiter said. “You miss baseball, but there are a lot bigger things in life than baseball. Essentially it’s a game that you go out and enjoy and you have fun doing it, but when there’s a pandemic or when people are going through hard times, you can put baseball to the side and be okay with that.”
With the season on hold, Suiter focused on his online studies for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester before moving to Wisconsin for a summer job. While putting in 60-hour workdays from 4:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Suiter made sure to stay in shape, while making friends with baseball locals so he could work on catching and hitting.
The Jaguar Baseball team resumed practice on Tuesday Oct. 7 and will officially return to play in early February when the 2021 season kicks off. Since the pause from last season, Augusta University broke ground on a phased plan to update the baseball and softball facilities on the Forest Hill Campus.
“As many games as we have, I will go through some games and you wish you had a break. Not that I’ve had such a long break, I can’t express how much I’ve actually missed baseball in general. Regardless of all the running and conditioning we have to do, I would do that every single day just to play this sport again.”
With a new season on the rise, additional features to the field and a fresh perspective on the game and life, Suiter and the Jaguars are looking forward to representing the university, the city, and their fellow students.