Local baseball standout Jeremy Schneider of Lovell continued his summer of diamond play into the fall by playing on three traveling or special tournament teams.
After playing for the Lovell Mustangs American Legion team during the spring and summer, Schneider played for a select 17 and under squad, the Wyco (Wyoming-Colorado) Braves based in Laramie and Ft. Collins, Colo. Schneider and two Cody players joined players from Laramie and Colorado to play two games in Ft. Collins and two at the University of Wyoming field in Laramie.
Schneider then played a number of games for Hitters Club of Billings, the only Wyoming player on the select 18 and under squad, practicing after school and non-game weekends and playing Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Schneider said Hitters Club played Triple Crown every Wednesday and traveled to tournaments on weekends, playing in Rapid City, Billings on four weekends, Denver for two weekends and in Phoenix.
One of the large tournaments was the Labor Day Wood Bat Classic Sept. 4-7 in Lakewood, Colo. Hitters Club played doubleheaders on every date, and Schneider estimated he played well into the 30s in the number of games played following the Mustangs’ season.
Two weekends ago, Oct. 30-Nov. 1, Schneider played for the Premier West Cardinals of Denver in the Desert Fall Classic in Las Vegas, which featured more than 200 teams with 52 teams in each of four brackets. Teams came from all over the United States, Schneider said.
The Cardinals played teams from Minnesota, Las Vegas, California and Arizona during the weekend.
A sophomore at Lovell High School, Schneider, 15, is the son of John and Kristi Schneider. He has pitched and played the outfield for the traveling teams this fall, working as both a starter and reliever.
“It’s a chance to get out and see ball in the U.S. and see what other ballclubs look like – and get some extra games and practice in,” he said.
Schneider said he has seen the most improvement in his pitching, gaining confidence on the mound and developing his changeup and curveball, though he said coaches pretty much limit “junk” until at pitcher turns 17. His pitching coach is former Padres prospect Greg Steffanich of Billings, who has been working with Schneider for four years now.
Schneider said he had a pretty low earned run average this fall and also batted .338. He said he’s playing basketball for the Lovell Bulldogs this winter but will then turn his attention to baseball again, playing for the Cody Stampede traveling team at a tournament in Mesquite, Nev., at the end of March and later joining the Lovell Mustangs again for the summer.
“I’m excited for the ‘Stangs next year,” he said.
He said he hopes to play college baseball someday.
By David Peck