JOPLIN, Mo. – With runners on second and third and two outs in the first inning, former NCCC pitcher and position player Brett Wiemers stroked a two-run double against the St. Joe Mustangs on Monday. The new Joplin Outlaws player put his new team up 3-2 and in position to potentially win the ballgame.
Joplin, however, would go on to lose 8-5.
Since helping NCCC win eight of its last 11 games and take a trip to the Sub-Regional Finals last May, Wiemers has been playing baseball in the MINK League for the past week. The Outlaws are currently 3-2.
Wiemers has been fruitful so far. The Pittsburg native is currently hitting .500 with four hits, including two doubles and three RBI in two games.
“Summer ball is great because you get to go out every single night. You play and you kind of just get to focus on your craft, practicing what you been preaching the last few years, every night, not just taking days off,” Wiemers said. “I think that’s really important when making that transition to this next level.”
Wiemers chose to play in the MINK League to polish his hitting and pitching in preparation for his next big move to play for Pittsburg State University.
After hitting .276 with 40 hits, 11 doubles, two triples and three homers, and pitching eight strikeouts with a 3.38 ERA in eight innings at NCCC last season, Wiemers signed to play at Pitt State near the end of the campaign.
NCCC head coach Steve Murry said he was proud of Wiemers.
“We want all our guys to get an opportunity to move on,” Murry said. “We are always proud when they get a chance to. Each one is unique to our team and the four years (they play). (We) see what they do at our level and want that same skill-set to be put to use at the next level.”
At NCCC, Wiemers learned some keys to the game that, he said, will help him at the next level.
“Probably just showing up every day and going hard every day,” he said. “Going at Neosho, Coach Murry always preached, if you are not going to go hard, then kind of what are you doing? Being able to go hard every day, because I know at the next level that’s to be expected from everyone. So going full speed every day, that’s probably the biggest thing.”
At NCCC, Wiemers learned routine, reliability and focus – and there were certainly times when the team had its fun. First-year Joplin Outlaws head coach Chris Dawson emphasizes the lighter side of the game as well.
“Probably the biggest thing is to just enjoy the game. He’s just out here trying to help us and help everyone kind of get ready for that next level, also,” Wiemers said. “I mean he’s just out here having fun with us. And he tells us every day, ‘Enjoy the game. Enjoy what you are doing. Baseball is still a game, as serious as you might want to take it. It’s still a game. Enjoy it. Have fun.’ And everybody plays better when they have fun.”
On the mound, Wiemers has improved his changeup, helping him remain a two-way player at the MINK level. At the plate, Wiemers is becoming more proficient as well.
Having won three games out of five, the Outlaws are currently third in the South Division, tied with the Sedalia Bombers, and just a half-game behind the Jefferson City Renegades for first place.
Wiemers will continue to play – pitching for the first time today versus the Sedalia Bombers – and he will continue his prudent approach, hitting the weights five or six times a week through July. The MINK League Championship is slated for July 29- 31, should his team advance that far. Wiemers will gear up for Pittsburg State baseball in mid-August.
The former Panther doesn’t take the process for granted, and he has a message for anyone who would like to follow in his footsteps.
“I’d say keep believing in yourself. Keep putting in the work every single day,” he said. “It’s tough to make it to the next level, but if you stick to it, go hard every day, it’s possible. Anybody can do it.”