Brian Weissert laced a double off the wall, his third in Bay Shore’s 10-2 win over Sachem North on April 6, and his awed coach turned around in the third base box to say something to his star player’s father, Ray.
“I just said [Weissert] might have to bring his bat with him to Fordham, too,” Mike Herbst said. “I know they’re bringing him in to pitch, but if they give him an opportunity . . . .”
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At 6-1 and 175 pounds with a mid-80s fastball and multiple off-speed pitches, the senior has compiled a 2-0 record and a save for Bay Shore (6-1) this season. He has struck out 16 and allowing five earned runs in 15 innings.
But his bat has been equally — if not more — impressive through the Marauders’ first seven games.
In 29 plate appearances, Weissert has reached base 19 times. He is 12-for-20 with a homer, three doubles, seven RBIs and 11 runs scored.
Weissert flashed his potential last season and earned a scholarship offer from Fordham, which he accepted. Weissert said his familiarity with the program influenced his decision. His brother, Greg, is a junior pitcher for the Rams.
Herbst said he has seen several seniors check out after pledging early, so he challenged Weissert in their first conversation after the commitment.
“He was congratulating me, but he said to not lose focus of what our goal was next year,” Weissert, also a shortstop, said. “That goal is winning a county title and getting to a Long Island title.”
With that in mind, Weissert dedicated himself to a grueling workout program. He added muscle — “Now he’s shredded,” Herbst said — and improved his speed on the bases.
“It’s always a personal goal of my own to be better than I was before,” he said. “You can never have enough improvements.”
Weissert and Herbst expect even more improvements as the season continues. Weissert has not reached his maximum velocity yet, which is expected to reach the upper-80s.
“That’s going to come as the weather warms up,” Herbst said.
Even without his most overpowering fastball, Weissert has beaten Connetquot and Sachem North by hitting his spots and mixing his pitches. He said he needed to learn to command the zone when he was smaller than his counterparts and incapable of relying on overwhelming heat. He only sprouted up as a junior.
“I think that was really important because going into college next year I’ll face guys who can hit heat,” he said.
It’s not the plan right now, but maybe Weissert can earn an opportunity to hit college fastballs, too.
“I would love to hit at school,” he said, “but I’ve got to keep working hard and doing what I’m doing.”