Feature story

Baseball is a family affair for the Wemers


The game of baseball and sports in general do such a great job at bringing friends closer. It also not only brings friends closer together, but family members as well. That is certainly the case for the Wemer family. Senior hurler and Purdue commit Kale Wemer gets to enjoy some extra time with his older brother Cole Wemer who is now in his third season of being on the Crawfordsville baseball staff. From Kale’s sophomore year, on he’s had his brother with him every step of the way.

“It’s been really nice to have him around because he’s just another person who’s been through what I’m going through now,” Kale said of having Cole on staff. “He knows exactly how to deal with the highs and lows of high school baseball. He’s the one who also helps me mentally lock in before a game so I can be at my very best.”

In 7.1 innings into his senior season, Kale has allowed just five hits and struck out 17 while only walking three.

The decision for Crawfordsville coach Brett Motz to bring Wemer on staff was a fairly easy one. Wemer in his four seasons at Southmont pitched 173 innings to the tune of a 2.43 ERA. He struck out exactly 173 hitters. Athenian skipper Brett Motz noted how Cole made an immediate impact on staff and continues to with as he primarily works with the Cville catchers and pitchers.

“There’s no doubt that there’s no bigger fan of Kale Wemer than Cole,” Motz said. “To be able to have this experience of having an older brother coaching his younger brother is really what the Crawfordsville baseball program is all about. That’s why I love our spring break trip is because we all as one giant family are able to get closer together. Kale and Cole have grown up together for most of their lives and that family bond is something that we try to re-create with everyone.”

Motz adds on how be began to give hitting and pitching lessons to Cole while he was still in high school with the Mounties.

“I remember that was probably when Kale was still in elementary school and he’d be tagging along with Cole at nearly every lesson,” Motz said. “When Cole left Marian (University) and I knew that he was coming back to our community, it was a no-brainer because I knew the quality person that he is and his knowledge of the game, I wanted for him to teach our younger guys that. Pitching is Cole’s passion and having him be around coach (Rhett) Welliever and absorb that knowledge. Cole’s impact has been huge and it’s been a big blessing to have him with our program.”

When Kale found out that his older brother would be joining the Athenian staff, it certainly made for a funny yet also pretty cool moment.

“I really thought he was just playing a joke on me,” Kale said with a nice big smile. “Being able to have him around though in the Winter when I’m throwing bullpens and am really looking to fine tune my stuff. Having him these last three years has helped in so many different ways.”

Being an athlete has been in the Wemer’s DNA ever since they were young. There was a turning point however for Kale from sports being something that he did just for fun, to doing it for what he hopes is still a very long time.

“Kale was determined and knowing how he was, no one was going to stop him,” Cole said of his younger brother. “He was always good at sports, but he had the mindset of ‘how far is this going to get me’? Once that freshman year came, he was bound and determined to be a D1 pitcher. Being able to watch him from a coaching standpoint these last three years and not just a fan, he’s found countless new ways to impress me. To see where he is now and the potential he still has, there’s still a lot more to come.”

This past summer Kale committed to Purdue and achieved his lifelong dream of becoming a D1 pitcher. With his college decision in the rear view mirror, Kale is trying to enjoy his final season with the Athenians, but also knows that opposing teams are going to want to take him down.

“I do feel probably the most pressure this year than I ever have,” he said. “Being a D1 pitcher, it makes you a big target with teams wanting to get hits and runs off of me every time I’m out there. I use that though as fuel to try and shut them down. I definitely want this season to be my best and one that I remember.”

The brothers relationship has only gotten stronger the last three years. No matter what the result is for Kale, Cole noted how he’ll always be there every single step of the way for whatever his younger brother needs.

“Whether it’s how do I throw  my curve for a strike, or how do I get over the biggest loss of my career, I’m always going to be there to help and guide him,” Cole said. “Going to Purdue is not Kale’s end goal, this is a kid who has big dreams when it comes to the sport of baseball and it’s my job just to be there to support him and help him in any way that I can.”

No matter how the baseball side of things plays out, no one can take away the special bond that the two brothers have built. The Wemer family is getting to watch a two of their own share the field one final time this spring.