Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – Garrett Bormann is a bit of an enigma.
Between the chalk of a batters box Bormann is a bulldog.
A prototypical, throwback leadoff hitter the City High senior will fight, scratch and claw to reach base.
Bormann brings a toughness to each at bat.
He is fearless about going deep into counts, possessing a penchant, even a willingness for hitting with two strikes that seems to have abandoned most high school hitters years ago.
“He’s been one of the very best players we’ve had here since I’ve been coaching just because he sits in there with two strikes and has a great leadoff approach,” City High coach Brian Mitchell said. “He makes pitchers, especially good pitchers, work and he just does everything that you hope a kid would do at the plate.”
That’s the Garrett Bormann between the white lines on a baseball field.
Off the baseball field Bormann is the opposite of what makes him a pain for opposing pitchers. He is laid back. A soft-spoken, light-hearted triplet with a pair of sisters his age that enjoys the casual conversations with friends that come often during days at the diamond and is open to hit anywhere in the lineup or play whatever position is needed.
“I’m just happy to be out playing so whatever the coaches think is best I’m all for it,” Bormann said. “I’m pretty relaxed so whatever they think is best I will do.”
That contrast in personality on and off the field creates the conundrum that is Garrett Bormann.
It is also what makes Bormann the perfect leader for a young City High team that snapped a 17-year state tournament drought.
A big season from Bormann helped City High (11-8) reach the state tournament for the first time since 2003 where the Little Hawks will face fourth-ranked Dubuque Hempstead (15-1) on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. at Principal Park in Des Moines.
“I didn’t realize it had been 2003, I didn’t know that until after we won the substate game but hearing that it means a lot,” Bormann said. “For us to go out and qualify it means a lot to the teams and the coaches.”
Bormann has been a big part of what turned into a breakthrough season for the Little Hawks.
A two-year varsity starter, Bormann lacks some of the flash on the diamond and pop in the stat sheet of some of his teammates.
He more than makes up for those things with what he brings in consistency and attitude.
“I think I’ve seen him have one bad week and that was Prairie and into Jefferson other than that he is super steady and he does everything within what he can do, he doesn’t try to do too much,” Mitchell said. “He runs the bases well, he knows the game. He’s just a treat to coach.”
A career .342 Bormann has gone largely overlooked by many during his two-year varsity career.
He was an honorable mention MVC all-division pick a year ago after leading a 25-win City High team in hits and stolen bases as a junior.
This season Bormann was a second-team all-division selection after hitting a career-best .352 and leading City High with 22 runs and 13 walks.
“We knew he was good, at the sophomore level he was really good but you don’t necessarily know how that translates to the next level because that’s a bigger jump than I think people recognize and he jumped right in,” Mitchell said. “He’s been a mainstay from day one.”
Bormann admitted he didn’t think he would get a senior season as COVID-19 numbers continued to rise this spring.
When it was announced summer sports would be played Bormann made a vow to enjoy each day he went to the diamond, each batting practice session and each at-bat.
He’s followed through on that promise with a stellar season.
Bormann ranks second on the team with a .478 on-base percentage and scored the winning run in a 4-3 substate final win over Linn-Mar.
“When COVID was getting really bad I was almost positive that we were going to be done,” Bormann said. “When we learned we had half of a season I was really happy to just get out here one more time. I wasn’t really sure what was going to happen but I’ve just tried to play all year like it’s our last one.”
That last high school game for Bormann, who plans to play baseball at Wartburg College, will come sometime this week.
The goal for Bormann and his City High teammates is to keep the season alive for three more games.
“We’ve had really solid pitching and defense all year so if we can just get the bats going for a few games we will be right there,” Bormann said. “We have had a lot of close games and we know that we will have a great chance. No matter what it’s going to be amazing to play at Principal Park and be with the team one last time but I’m really hoping we can go down there and win three games.”