Dan Wertz went from being the veteran on John Jay-Cross River Highs varsity baseball team to a youngster with his new group.
The 18-year-old Wertz is a rookie with the Hastings Lookouts of the Westchester-Rockland Wood Bat League. He is not alone, though. Croton senior Dillon Carr is also first-year player with the Lookouts.
Being the youngest on a team of men ranging in age from 20 up through their 30s might concern some players his age, but not Wertz. The right-handed side-armer, as he describes himself, has made a smooth transition to the team thanks to his veteran teammates.
They have been really welcoming and really supportive, Wertz said. They have given me some helpful tips. The veterans keep the team stable and it has led to a great team atmosphere.
Wertz, who will attend Sacred Heart University and play baseball next year, has been waiting for an opportunity to play in this league. He spent the last couple of years playing travel baseball for the World Yacht Clippers. Wertz said Clipper players usually progress to the Lookouts.
Wertz realizes that many players his age are playing within their age group and said he realizes participating in this league will prepare him for Division I Sacred Heart.
I will be facing very good hitters in Divison I next year, Wertz said. This will give me more experience on the mound and poise facing batters who are all good players.
Wertz has thrown six innings in three games and is 1-0. He has struck out six, allowed three hits and has a 3.00 earned run average. A starter and third baseman, for John Jay when he was not pitching, Wertz likes his new role as a middle reliever.
Ive been getting my innings in, he said. Pitching two, three innings a game right now is perfect.
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