We took the time to catch up with one of our pitchers from #Team1, Reece Hemmerling. Reece was an integral part of the inaugural AHP Academy team, and had a standout season for the Barton CC Cougars. He was a fixture in the rotation of a team that spent a bulk of the year ranked in the top 10 in the country, in the NJCAA. The Cougars had an outstanding season, posting a 51-10 record, and Reece was a big part of that.
He went 6-2 on the season with a 4.77 ERA and racked up 55 strikeouts in 54 innings.
1. Tell us about your experience in your freshman season at Barton? Was it what you thought it was going to be? Did you feel prepared for the challenges?
The experience has been awesome ever since I got to Barton. I had some complications getting down and had to show up a couple weeks late and everyone was so welcoming when I arrived and it made the transition so much easier and enjoyable. I totally wasn’t prepared for the circuit workouts and all the triangles in the fall haha. But I got used to it as time went by. Obviously AHP did a great job preparing me to be a college athlete.
2. What about college baseball has been the biggest challenge and what have you done to meet it?
I think the biggest difference in college is the amount of compete everyone has and the fact hitters 1 through 9 are all good. My first spring college outing went horribly. I came in and walked four guys and hit one. I was super nervous but knew I couldn’t let that affect my next outing. I think the biggest thing in reducing stress is just being myself and not worrying about what the outcome may be. Just go out there and do your best every time and that’s been a big part in my success I’ve had.
3. What has been the most enjoyable experience from this year?
There has been a couple super enjoyable experiences with Barton. One of them being winning the Conference which is not easy to do. And another being setting a Win's record in a season for Barton Baseball. Obviously, those are 2 pretty cool accomplishments to be a part of.
4. If you were speaking to a high school athlete in our academy now what would be the biggest and most important piece of advice you would give them?
The biggest piece of advice I would give is you can’t expect to come in and be as successful as you were in high school. You are going to fail but you can’t let that affect you. You have to learn how to bounce back after failure. I think another piece of advice is that you are going to have to really work. You have 40 guys on the roster all competing to start and it won’t just be given to you. You can also lose that spot at any point in the season but you can’t let that affect you, you have to keep working.
5. You have had a successful season this year both individually and as a team. What do you think has allowed you to contribute to the team's success?
I was grateful to earn a starting spot on this team taking the role of the game 4 starter. I’ve had some success on the mound but i’ve also had some failure. Obviously, I will never be satisfied with how well I do on the mound because I know I can always be better. The biggest thing for me is to come back next year stronger. The team being successful has played a huge part in my success as well because i’ve been surrounded by a bunch of people who are all wanting to compete for the same goal. My catch partner David Stuart who is a 3rd year at Barton has played a huge role in my success. He has pushed me to become successful both in the weight room and on the field.
6. What's next for you? Where are your sights set?
Obviously coming back to Barton next year much stronger. I want next years team to be just as successful as this year’s team. My sights are set at going power 5 after Barton so I plan to grind the off-season and come back throwing 90+ off the mound. There is a lot I have to work on and I can’t wait to do it.
7. Have you made an adjustment or put any thought into the Match 2.0 vs your coaches Ethan and Connor? Are you willing to up the ante this year? If so, what do you want to wager?
I was golfing down here in GreatBend a little bit, and Amar have played a few rounds to make sure we are prepared. I am going to need a few round sof practice before the rematch. Amar and I have been talking and we are are super confident because obviously Ethan and Connors' short game and mental game is horrible. It is super easy to get inside their head. We are willing to up the ante this year and still have not decided what we want it to be yet.