Pitcher hitting the mark

By Brian Smiley, Brantford Expositor

Danny Weagle is settling in at Garden City Community College where he's playing baseball on a scholarship.

"I really like being here," said the 19-year-old pitcher.

He noted that getting a scholarship to a U.S. school was a goal. The college is in Garden City, Kansas.

"I just didn't know if it was going to happen or not."

Weagle has worked hard to get where he is.

After playing in the Brantford Minor Baseball Association for most of his life, Weagle joined the Ontario Nationals of the Canadian Premier Baseball League. The St. John's College graduate played four years for the Nationals, whose home park is the diamond at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Marys.

"That league was the highest one I could play in so the competition was better," said the five-foot-10, 180-pound right-hander.

"I feel like I got better playing there."

Weagle had an outstanding season this summer. In 47.1 innings of work, he allowed 32 hits and 12 walks, while striking out 64. He was 6-1 on the season with one no decision and an ERA of 1.54.

His ERA was sixth in the CPBL and first on his team. Weagle was also second in the league in strikeouts and third in wins. He was selected to pitch in the league's all-star game.

Last spring, he found out Garden City was interested in him. So, he took a trip to the school and liked what he saw.

"The atmosphere was nice," said Weagle. "The city is growing and the campus is pretty nice.

"I met some of the baseball players and they all seemed to like it here."

The Broncbusters are members of the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference. Notables who have played in the conference include Travis Hafner, Adam LaRoche and David Segui.

Last season, Garden City was 45-17 overall (21-11 in its conference).

Weagle, who is studying nursing, said was uncertain of what to expect with school.

"I knew it would be a hard program but I didn't think it would be this hard," said the son of Bruce and Claire.

"It's hard every day but it's good. I like it."

The team has played two games so far against Seward County Community College and Weagle has appeared in both.

"They're better hitters in college but it was good," he said.

"I threw good. The second game I let in one run but the first game there were no runs."

Weagle, who has a fastball, changeup, curveball and slider, will enjoy his two years at Garden City. Then he'd like to move on to a four-year school.

If that doesn't work out, he has a backup plan.

"If I don't get a big enough offer, I'll come home and play in Canada," said Weagle, who thanked his family and friends for their support.

And, at the end of the day, all Weagle wants to do is keep playing.

"Of course, my overall goal is to get drafted," he said.

"I just want to play baseball as long as I can at the highest level I can. Then, if I have to stop playing, I'll go into nursing."