Ian Schlidgen

After trying out for the University of Wisconsin-Platteville baseball team three years ago as a third baseman, Ian Schildgen, a 2017 Oregon High School graduate, finally made the Hillmen team last year as a pitcher.

Ian Schildgen, a 2017 Oregon High School graduate, is looking forward to taking the mound again in 2021.

After a season cut short in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Schildgen is ready to build on his first year as a college pitcher.

In 2020, the right-handed bullpen pitcher compiled a 1-0 record in 62⁄3 innings pitched with a 4.05 ERA. The pitcher has an unusual road back to the diamond.

Leaving high school, Schildgen knew he always wanted to play baseball.

As a freshman at Platteville, Schildgen tried out as a third baseman. After not making the team, Schildgen played club hockey for two years. He did not try out his sophomore year but as a junior decided to give baseball another shot. This time as a pitcher.

“I knew I always wanted to play baseball,” said Schildgen.

As he made the transition to baseball after taking two years off, Schildgen admits it’s been a bit of a challenge at times. Other than a busier schedule, Schildgen knows there is no time to slack off.

“The biggest transition for me was to not take days off,” he said. “You have to be locked in at all times.”

Baseball isn’t new to him. Schildgen was a first-team Badger South All-Conference outfielder his senior year. He hit .362 in 2017 25-for-69 with six doubles, two triples, 22 RBIs and 17 runs scored. He played a couple of seasons of Home Talent League baseball with Oregon.

Platteville has implemented guidelines for social distancing to make sure players and stay safe while still being able to have a season. The campus has a mask mandate along with strict workout schedules for all Platteville athletics.

Schildgen is set to graduate this spring with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He plans to go into the medicinal chemistry world.

Until then his goal is simple.

“I just want to play,” he said.

Platteville’s season is slated to kick-off in March.