Gabe of all trades: Weidenaar plays wherever he’s needed for the Coyotes
Wherever College of Southern Nevada needs him to play, he can pretty much do it.
No, it’s not Bryce Harper.
It’s Gabe Weidenaar.
The sophomore from Bozeman, Mont., can play just about every position.
Weidenaar mostly played shortstop in American Legion ball. He didn’t play high school baseball, because it’s not offered in the Montana High School Association.
“It’s what we know,” Weidenaar said. “It pretty much is high school. I just had to get out of the cold weather, honestly.
“There was a scout that drafted my older brother out of high school, (he) told me he had the perfect place for me. I came to Southern Nevada and fell in love with it.”
Southern Nevada coach Tim Chambers said Weidenaar could throw 90 to 94 mph, so he put him on the mound.
After sitting out one year with a back injury, Weidenaar returned and became the Coyotes’ ace.
He led the team with 98 strikeouts in 71 innings.
Weidenaar was going to pitch again this year, but injuries forced Chambers to move him to the outfield.
“This year, it’s kind of crazy, we have tons of pitching,” Weidenaar said. “The coaches realize how athletic I am and (can) play a utility role on the team, wherever they need me.”
Weidenaar hit .373 with 13 doubles, five home runs and 30 RBI this season and also pitched 13 innings in six appearances this spring.
“In January of this year, we lose two outfielders to injury,” Chambers said. “We told him to swing the bat a little bit just in case we need him in a pinch. We put him in a game, he gets a couple hits, put him in again and he gets a couple hits. Next thing you know, he’s playing third, center, right and he only pitched 13 innings all year.
“It’s been awesome for him to get to play every day when he was used to doing that.”
Weidenaar is 7 for 10 (.700) with two doubles, a home run and five RBI in two games in the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series.
“It feels pretty good,” Weidenaar said. “It’s hard making the adjustment from wood to metal. It’s been interesting, but we got to chance in the district tournament so we got used to it.”
Weidenaar has verbally committed to the University of New Mexico.
“They have a great ballpark and coaches,” he said. “They play in the closest stadium to a major league stadium. They gave me the opportunity to do both in the same year. That’s my dream to do both. They are both so fun.”
Weidenaar hopes to continue to pitch and play a position in professional ball too.
“Hey man, I’m going to be the first one to do it,” Weidenaar said of pitching and playing a position in the major leagues.
Chambers believes his future is at shortstop.
“I think his future is playing the field,” Chambers said. “He can play a heck of a shortstop. He can play everywhere on the field except catcher. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone pops him up in the draft.”