For a split second, decidedly outside of baseball season, Ethan Wiskur's baseball future appeared to be in doubt.
Now, his future in the sport will take him to the professional ranks.
A recent Hillsdale College graduate, Wiskur has signed a pro baseball contract with the Westside Woolly Mammoths of the United Shore Professional Baseball League, based in the Detroit area.
It's the same professional league that signed former Chargers Luke Ortel and Chris McDonald to pro contracts following the 2016 season. Since then, McDonald was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates and is still playing in the team's system.
Wiskur, one of the great all-around power hitters in Hillsdale College history, became the third baseball player in the past calendar year to play at the next level.
Originally from Flint, Michigan, Wiskur figures to add power to the Mammoths' lineup just in the manner he did for four years at Hillsdale. He finished his career tied with McDonald for the most RBI in program history with 128, and ranks in the career top 10 in six offensive categories. Wiskur was front-and-center of the renaissance of Charger baseball, helping the team to back-to-back 25-win seasons and its first-ever berth in the NCAA regional tournament in 2016.
But his 2017 season appeared to be in serious jeopardy three months before it even began.
Wiskur, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound slugger, joined the Hillsdale College football team for the 2016 season. Incredibly, on the final play of the final game of the season, he suffered a hand injury while making a special teams tackle in a 42-10 win over Lake Erie College. That injury was a severe blow not just to Wiskur personally, but to the team, who was counting on him to contribute heavily both at the plate and on the pitchers' mound.
Three months of diligent rehab allowed Wiskur to miss just two games during a 2017 season in which he ripped opposing pitching apart.
He was named First-Team All-GLIAC, First-Team All-Region and honorable mention All-American while batting .358 with 12 home runs, 45 runs batted in, 33 runs scored and 62 total hits. He settled in at the cleanup spot where his quick but sweeping swing and devastating power helped Hillsdale stay atop the GLIAC offensive rankings all year. His RBI total is even more impressive when you consider the two players hitting in front of him - Colin Boerst and Steven Ring - combined for 125 runs batted in during the 2017 season. As often as Boerst and Ring cleared the bases with their power, Wiskur still produced a monster season for the Chargers.
His size, power and underrated speed, figure to make Wiskur not only productive for the Woolly Mammoths, but attractive to MLB scouts as well. McDonald was a standout for the Eastside Diamond Hoppers of the USPBL last year, and he got noticed, and later signed, by the Pirates.
GLIAC pitching and freak injuries couldn't keep Wiskur from achieving his dream of playing professional baseball. USPBL pitching should be warned it might not stop the Wiskur train either.