Player of the Year

Leaving his mark in Athenian History

Crawfordsville’s Kale Wemer stellar senior season earns him the 2024 Journal Review Baseball Player of the Year


The long storied history of great Crawfordsville pitchers continued this past spring. Recent Cville grad and Purdue Boilermaker Kale Wemer had a season that not only he’ll remember, but the entire Crawfordsville baseball program and family will remember. The Athenians won their first sectional and regional titles since 2013 and got to be one of the final eight teams remaining in Class 3A.

In total his 2024 season stats included 79 innings pitched, with a record of 10-4 and struck out 121 batters while issuing just 12 walks on the season. He ended with a 1.15 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .154 batting average. At the plate Wemer batted .296 and tied for second on the team with 23 RBI’s.

“I got to have Kale in my specialized P.E. class as an eighth grader and it didn’t take me long to figure out he had the drive and work ethic to become the player that he wanted to be,” Crawfordsville coach Brett Motz said. “The dedication and commitment to the sport of baseball is some of the best I’ve seen. One of Kale’s best traits is that he’s never satisfied. He’s always wanting to better himself in every facet of the game. I know he’s going to look back in the mirror one day and say he did everything he could to get the most out of his god given abilities.”

Wemer just recently added another accolade to his outstanding resume during his high school career. This past weekend, Wemer represented Crawfordsville in the North/South All-Star Game as he was named an Indiana All-Star for the South team.

With all the accolades and getting the very most out of his senior season, Wemer is the 2024 Journal Review Baseball Player of the Year.

“Every day that I get to come out and play the sport I love, it’s such a blessing,” Wemer said. “As a pitcher you have to come in with a great mindset every single game. I remember my freshman and sophomore year I was so intense with my approach when I was on the mound. This past year I knew what I was capable of and I just felt so relaxed on the mound. There’s pressure when you’re a Purdue commit and everyone wants to get hits off of you. I just laid everything out on the line and it was a year I’m definitely proud of.”

One of the biggest leaps in Wemer’s game this past season was his control with every single one of his pitches. In 42.2 innings his junior year, Wemer walked 18 hitters. Add one another 37 innings this year and he walked six less while his strikeout to walk ratio sat at an astronomical 10-1.

“I had to learn to throw pitchers pitches this year and that was the biggest area where I battled with,” Wemer said. “I didn’t always have to throw strikes to strike batters out. If it was close enough to the zone they’d swing and I’d still be able to strike them out. Once I got that down and was able to really locate my pitches where I wanted them, not many teams could hit it.”

At the helm of that state tournament run was Wemer who saved his best performances for the biggest games. In the three post-season games before reaching semi-state, Wemer allowed just a single earned run in 19 innings of work. He added 23 strikeouts during those three games. It’s the good old saying in sports that big time players make big time plays in big time games. That phrase definitely fits with Wemer.

“Sometimes the guy who wants it the most, creates the most success for himself and there’s no question that throughout this conference season and tournament run, I’d put Kale up there with anyone in terms of who wanted it the most,” Motz said. “That tangible is extremely difficult to coach and it’s something that he was just born with. He made sure he was the best that he could be so that the Crawfordsville Athenians were the best version of what we could be. When you have that combination, everyone around him wanted to be their best because they didn’t want to let him down because they knew he didn’t want to let his teammates down either.”

Whether it be the likes of a Cam Hobson, Steven Rice, or more recently a Trent Johnson and Cale Coursey, Wemer has thrown his name into the great pitchers to wear an Athenian uniform. Motz notes how Wemer has stamped his name as the next great Athenian.

“He’s of course going to be one of the guys that I always remember,” Motz said. “He is certainly one of the top pitchers to come through this program simply because he never left anything behind him. Even in that semi-state game, he gave it everything he had until came out. Not only is he a great individual player but he’s been one of the best teammates that I’ve seen in my career.”

The next chapter for Wemer will be him trading his gold and blue for black and gold when he goes to Purdue in the fall. In what many Cville fans hope is a repeat of what Johnson was able to do during his four years as a Boilermaker, Wemer knows he still plenty left to prove.

“I just want to keep climbing that ladder,” he said. “The competition is obviously going to be a lot harder but I know and trust my skill sets. It comes down to continuing to work hard and out-work everyone else.”

Wemer and the Athenian baseball program will forever be tied together. The memories made, the accolades won, and most importantly the person he’s developed into will be remembered in Cville baseball history.