Gateway: Sports

Weymiller, Seahawks look to bounce back after missing postseason last year

Alex Weymiller’s name is painted on the outfield wall in bold letters at Peninsula High School’s baseball field.

It’s a high honor, one only privileged to those who earn all-state honors. The name is something younger brother Ben sees every time he steps into the batter’s box in his home park. This year, after battling injuries for much of last year, the younger Weymiller is hoping to add his name next to his brother’s after his senior season.

"That’s one my biggest goals this year," Weymiller said. "I just need to stay healthy and perform consistently."

When healthy, Weymiller has the potential to be one of the state’s most dangerous shortstops. Peninsula coach Pete Weymiller, Ben’s father, said his son has all the tools of a great baseball player.

"He’s a great situational hitter," Pete said. "He can hit for contact and power. He’s got incredible speed and quickness. He’s got a baseball intelligence. He can anticipate. It’s amazing to see some of the things he does out there ... it surprises me."

Ben’s work ethic comes largely from his brother, who graduated two years ago.

"He taught me how to compete and how to have a goal to strive for," Ben said. "When he left, I lost my long toss partner. I had to reinvent the way I worked. In his absence, I’ve been able to learn how to sustain that on my own without him there to push me."

Ben and Alex have always pushed each other. In neighborhood games outside of their home, they’d play neighborhood games. Alex, two years older, usually dominated his younger brother.

"It made Ben better," their father said. "He’s just so competitive. He always wanted to win."

In addition to being competitive, Ben views the game in a unique way, almost from a manager’s perspective.

"People see (baseball) as a boring game," Ben said. "But I think the mental games, the chess matches are the most exciting part… I like to push the other team, make them make mistakes. I’m always sprinting through, rounding the base hard and making them make throws. I’m always pushing the envelope. I make sure they’re fundamentally sound and if not, then I take advantage of it."

The Seahawks were hit with the injury bug last year, causing them to miss the postseason after making it to the state tournament the year before. This year’s unit, if healthy, believes it can get back to the playoffs.

"We didn’t have the camaraderie we had the year before," Ben said. "We have a lot of good friends on the team this year. We’re hoping to be able to capitalize and stay healthy. Strength and flexibility has been a big focus."

Coach Weymiller said this team is dialed in.

"Our leadership this year is a lot better," he said. "They’re real competitive out in the field; they’re having fun at practice. When they can lead from within, it makes it easier to coach. We’re executing better in practice."

Senior pitcher and first baseman Robert Kvinsland might open some eyes this year, according to his coach. Kvinsland is headed to Idaho State University in the fall to play quarterback for the Bengals’ football team.

“I attribute a lot of his success to football,” Pete said. “He’s a great leader. With his success in football, he brings a winning attitude. Having a leader with a winning attitude is huge.”

The goal, as always, is to win a state title. But first up is trying to win the league title in a tough SPSL 3A.

"We’ve got a tough league," Pete said. "We’ve got a couple new schools coming in. We’re going to compete against these other teams. We’re going to hold our own. We want to get looks against real competitive teams, maintain our confidence. To be very competitive, our goal is to win the league championship. From there, who knows what happens in the playoffs? Sometimes a little bit of luck is needed. We’re hoping to get to the playoffs and then make some things happen when we get there."