CEDAR FALLS — A University spokesperson confirmed to The Gazette today that Northern Iowa redshirt freshman Tanner Lohaus “wants to pursue playing baseball” and will be leaving the program.
Lohaus averaged 1.1 points and 1.4 rebounds in seven games last season for the Panthers.
The Iowa City West alumnus was a standout pitcher and shortstop for the Trojans from 2014-2016. He hit .276 in 105 at-bats his senior season, while pitching to a 4.61 ERA in 44 innings.
As a junior Lohaus hit .280 in 107 at-bats, while pitching to a 3.00 ERA in 58 1/3 innings. He has three years eligibility remaining.
Lohaus told The Gazette that he began seriously considering a move away from basketball and UNI and to the baseball diamond a “few days after the season ended.”
“I was with my family. We really talked about it over spring break,” Lohaus said. “But, I think (the) feeling (has) kind of always been there and I just have kind of been suppressing it. Trying to get better and get through the season I just kind of felt like maybe it was just because I wasn’t playing as much but I think I finally realized it was just because I don’t really love basketball anymore.”
Lohaus said his family, including teammate and older brother Wyatt supported his decision and he stated that he’s ready to listen to all opportunities, but it’s his intention to focus on pitching.
Meanwhile, Lohaus’ parents are coordinating with his former high school coaches to set up a weekly workout plan while he finishes the spring semester in Cedar Falls. Lohaus said the last
time he was on a pitching mound was at the 2016 State Tournament in Des Moines.
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“I just want to play baseball again,” Lohaus said. “Even if I have to drive back to Iowa City twice a week to (train). We’ll get me throwing, we’ll make sure I’m on a lifting program that’s good for me, and just give me my best chance at it.”
Lohaus’ departure comes on the heels of Juwan McCloud’s last month, leaving the Panthers with three available scholarships.
A.J. Green — no. 72 on ESPN’s top-100 — is signed for 2018, while junior college stretch-forward Shandon Goldman committed in March. Currently the Panthers have just two offers extended to 2018 prospects. Parker Braun and Sy Chatman, forwards from Overland Park, Kan. and St. Paul, Minn., respectively. With McCloud’s departure last month UNI Coach Ben Jacobson is now searching for point guard help and considering everything from graduate transfers to high school seniors.