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Published On: May 28th, 2018

KALAMAZOO, Mich – The Kalamazoo Growlers will have a famous name gracing the mound of Homer Stryker Field in 2018.

Derek Carr, who shares the name with the Oakland Raiders quarterback, will be joining the Growlers as a left-Handed pitcher from Ohio University. Carr’s name will often draw jokes about the Raiders quarterback.

“The name really didn’t pop up until my junior year in high school when the Fresno State Derek Carr finally got drafted,” Carr said. “Then the name exploded when he did really well his rookie year [in the NFL]. I didn’t really hear a whole lot about the name until my senior year going into my freshman year of college.”

The jokes haven’t bothered Carr throughout his college career, “I go with it,” Carr laughed. “I like to hear about it and it makes me joke around like ‘yeah, we do this football-baseball part time thing.”

After a poor showing in his freshman season at Ohio, where he posted a 20.25 era in limited work, Carr’s pitching has been no joke.

A summer in the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League with the Southern Ohio Copperheads helped Carr in his development. Carr posted an impressive 3.27 ERA for the Copperheads, striking out 32 batters in just 22 innings pitched.

He helped the Copperheads to a playoff appearance with his strong pitching in the back half of the season. Carr then used the momentum from his strong summer, and bounced back this spring for Ohio. Carr struck out 28 batters in 32.2 innings pitched and kept his ERA at a solid 4.13.

Carr enjoys pitching at Ohio University, a mid-major with a solid baseball program. Ohio made it to the NCAA tournament after winning the MAC in 2017, and has produced big-leaguers such as Mike Schmidt.

The Bobcats couldn’t find the same success this spring as they did in 2017, as the Bobcats missed the MAC tournament, but Carr could be the key to Ohio returning to the top of the conference.

Carr was a highly sought after recruit out of high school, with offers from many Division 1 programs, including 2016 National Champion Coastal Carolina.

The biggest problem for Carr is pitching in the zone consistently. The lefty walked 25 batters in 32.2 innings pitched for Ohio, and walked 21 batters in 22 innings for the Copperheads.

It’s a big jump for Carr from the Great Lakes League to the Northwoods, but if the lefty continues to improve, he could be a real contributor for the Growlers in the summer of 2018.