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Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

Breaking all-time SEU starts record means “everything” for 5th year Jack Granack

Emilio Casanova / Hilltop Views
Granack pitches against Eastern New Mexico University during their series opener on Friday, Feb. 23. This season, Granack reached the milestone of 55 career starts, the most in program history. Through his career, he has pitched 295 innings.

“It means everything, honestly, being on the hilltop as long as I’ve been,” pitcher Jack Granack said. “It’s a real honor.”

After reaching 55 career starts, Granack becomes the all-time leader for the St. Edward’s baseball program. 

It’s been quite the ride for Granack. In the past five years, Granack has been a part of the program’s transition from the Heartland Conference to the Lone Star Conference, the trials of the pandemic, three head coaches in two and a half years and two NCAA South-Central Regional appearances.  

Before arriving on the hilltop in August 2019, his path to Austin was not a straightforward route.

“I had a couple of offers, but they ultimately all fell through,” Granack said. “St. Edward’s was a place that clearly wanted me and it was just the right fit for me.”

As most college freshmen go through growing pains during their first year in school or on the field, Granack was no different. His “welcome to college moment” came during the first intrasquad scrimmage of his career. The very first pitch that Granack threw was sent over the fence at Lucian Hamilton Field for a home run. 

Granack recalls thinking to himself on the mound, “I am really going to have to make an adjustment, this is definitely different from high school.”

The adjustments paid off in the 2020 season. He burst onto the scene, coming out of the bullpen on opening day that season against Lubbock Christian University. In his second outing, Granack came into the game in the bottom of the third inning and shut down then no. 13 West Texas A&M University, giving up one earned run in 5.2 innings, and striking out four Buffs hitters.

Following his appearance at West Texas A&M, Granack was inserted into the starting rotation and never looked back. Before the season was abruptly canceled due to the pandemic, Granack was putting together an all-Lone Star Conference caliber season: 1.86 earned run average through 26 innings pitched and 28 strikeouts to only 12 walks. 

“I was a new guy on the scene and I was able to use it to my advantage and just go out there and compete,” Granack said. “I had a lot of things click and go my way during the first half of that season. I was surrounded by a lot of guys that were able to give me support with my defense behind me. It was the perfect storm for me to have a good start to my freshman year.”

Following this dream start to the right-hander’s career, Granack was forced to adapt to pitching with a target on his back. Teams around the league were put on notice and were going to be ready for him. When West Texas A&M came to town in 2021, the Buffs were out for revenge. He gave up eight runs and five doubles before he was pulled from the game with two outs in the top of the second inning. Granack reflects on the moment as one of the low points in his career.

“That was a level of failure that I had to face and ultimately just flush,” Granack said, “I couldn’t let it bring me down too much. I had to learn from it and get ready for the next week.”

Granack takes the mound with a level headed mindset. He focuses on not getting “too high or too low,” depending on the situation. 

“Just being able to take a deep breath, collect your thoughts and not let that event get you overwhelmed allows you to focus in on the task at hand for the next pitch,” he said. “Controlling your emotions is a critical thing to do to be a good starting pitcher.”

Granack’s calm demeanor on the field translates to his personality and leadership style off the field and inside the locker room. As a team captain, he won’t get in your face or rip you apart when you screw up, but carries a gentler leadership approach.

“I’m not the most vocal guy,” Granack said. “But I want to motivate guys to be the best that they can be in every situation.”

Granack’s parents, Frank and Jennifer Granack, have been staples in the crowd throughout their son’s time as a Hilltopper. Routinely making the 2-3 hour drive from Spring, Texas, Granack’s hometown in the Houston area, both can be seen supporting him on the field during game day.

“I’m sure there is going to be some tears for my parents (on Senior Day),” Granack said. “I think it’s going to be a whirlwind of emotions. It’s going to be a cool moment because I have been here for so long, a Hilltoppers through thick and thin.”

The Hilltoppers will host reigning Division II national champion Angelo State University this weekend, April 19-21, for their final home series of the season. Senior Day will be on Sunday, April 21, at 1 p.m.

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About the Contributor
Jack Connolly
Jack Connolly, Staff Writer
Jack is a junior from Omaha, Nebraska and this is his second year writing with "Hilltop Views" as a Staff Writer. He loves sports but will also write about music, social issues and politics.

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