GRAND FORKS, N.D. - It's a shame he was only asked to throw one pitch. After all, Corey Nyhus (UND Athletics Hall of Fame) still holds the Fighting Sioux baseball career record for innings pitched (213.2), so throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before a Saturday doubleheader against Northern Colorado was not too taxing on the 59 year old's arm.
"I just want to get it across the plate," Nyhus said while warming up.
Nyhus, now a doctor in Frazee, Minn, was the latest UND baseball alum to be honored this season in what is becoming a staple in Jeff Dodson's program — a deep appreciation for the tradition of Sioux baseball.
"It's great to see former players stay connected to the program and there's a real passion that these guys have for baseball at UND," Dodson said. "I want to make sure our current players understand the history and guys like Corey help us do that."
Nyhus did not just step up on the mound either. A Fighting Sioux Club member since its inception, this month he and his wife Wanda donated an Impact Scholarship to be used by the baseball program. The reason for the gift was simple according to Nyhus, who was recruited to UND by the legendary Pinky Kraft.
"If not for the scholarship offered by Pinky Kraft, I likely would not have been able to attend UND," Nyhus said. "For that reason alone, I feel it is my responsibility to allow future athletes to have the same possibility."
"To have a Hall of Fame student-athlete like Corey giving back to the program is part of what makes UND Athletics so special," UND Athletics Director Brian Faison said. "He is making a true impact on our program and Impact Scholarships are crucial as we ramp up our scholarship numbers in the move to Division I."
Nyhus likes what he sees from coach Dodson and the future of the program.
"I am thrilled to see the program competing against high level schools," Nyhus added. "We did much the same under Pinky. We played the Gophers, Purdue, Brown, Memphis, Murray State, Etc. It is good to see the competition including the "Old NCC".
Oh, and as for the first pitch, it was a strike.