These are exciting times indeed for Bonney Lake’s talented, baseball-playing Gretler brothers.
Older sibling Michael recently finished a stellar career at Oregon State University, was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates and subsequently made his professional debut. Meanwhile, younger brother Matthew continues on a similar path: now graduated from Bonney Lake High School, he’ll head off to Corvallis and the Oregon State campus, making it Gretler No. 2 to wear a Beaver uniform.
Michael Gretler set an impressive pace, leading Bonney Lake High to the championship round of the 2014 Class 3A state playoffs during his senior season. He was drafted by the Boston Red Sox but chose the collegiate route instead, garnering plenty of attention along the way.
He was drafted in 2017 by the Pirates, but returned to Corvallis for a final season with his Oregon State teammates. That was rewarding for both Gretler and the entire Beaver program, which streaked to the national championship, winning two of three games in the College World Series.
Dedicated to getting their man, the Pirates drafted Gretler again this year. He went from being picked in the 39th round a season ago to the 10th round this year – the 294th played selected in the draft – and was immediately assigned to the West Virginia Black Bears.
After traveling cross-country, Gretler wasted little time making an impact. He signed a professional contract July 2 and was in the Black Bears’ starting lineup on July 4, collecting a hit and scoring a run as his club defeated the Williamsport Crosscutters 7-5.
The Black Bears are based in Granville, West Virginia, and compete in the Pinckney Division of the New York-Penn League. It’s short-season Class A baseball and division rivals include the Auburn Doubledays, Batavia Muckdogs, Mahoning Valley Scrappers and State College Spikes, along with the Crosscutters.
Gretler’s numbers at Oregon State show why the pros came calling. He capped his collegiate career having appeared in 202 games, starting 178 and hitting .285 for four years. As a senior, he hit .305 with seven home runs, 21 doubles and 51 runs batted in.
As a junior at OSU, he hit .301 with 13 doubles, four triples, five home runs and 33 RBI in 62 games.
“If there’s an MVP on our team, (Gretler) is one of them,” OSU coach Pat Casey was quoted as saying earlier this year. “He does everything for us.”
Casey knows a thing or two about baseball. He recently received national Coach of the Year honors for the third time.
GRETLER IN CORVALLIS, PART 2
Matthew Gretler signed his national Letter-of-Intent in November, one of 11 players to accept a scholarship to attend Oregon State and play for Casey.
The new Beaver, who hits and throws right-handed, figures heavily in the Bonney Lake High record book. He finished his Panther career on a high note, hitting .481 and blasting 13 homes while leading his team to the state quarterfinals.
Following both his senior and junior campaigns, he received Most Valuable Players honors in a vote of league coaches. He had hit at a .464 clip as a junior while crushing seven home runs. He was a Panther standout since first stepping onto the BLHS diamond, hitting .419 as both a sophomore and freshman and being named a first-team all-SPSL selection both years.