By Ryan Kaczmarski
On Feb. 19, Westlake senior David Mauerer committed to become a student athlete at Northern Kentucky University and play baseball.
“I was looking at Eastern Kentucky (University) and Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla., as my top two schools,” Mauerer said. “But the coaching staff (at Northern Kentucky) was tremendous, two weeks ago during my visit to the school, and I really like them a lot. I’m going in there with a chance to really contribute a lot my freshman year.
“The main attraction is that they (NKU) are going to move to Division I next year, my freshman year,” he added. “Being a part of the first Division I recruiting class there is really cool. Also, they are going into the Atlantic Sun Conference. I did my research, and the Atlantic Sun is one of the top-12 baseball conferences in the nation.”
Mauerer started his high school career playing for St. Edward High School as a freshman before transferring to Westake High School as a sophomore, and has earned two varsity letters going into his senior season this spring. He is a left-handed pitcher for the Demons and plays summer baseball for the T-3 Pelicans of the Traq Performance Institute, located in Avon, Ohio. His Pelicans team, coached by Neall French and Frank Russo, made it to the championship game of the Continental Amateur Baseball Association (CABA) World Series. This was the first Ohio team to make it that far in over 10 years.
Since last summer’s season has ended, he has been working at the Traq facility four days a week. He has also been throwing bullpen sessions and working on mechanics twice a week with pitching coach Clint Nageotte.
He had some setbacks in the 2011 varsity season due to the stress of the college recruiting process.
“Last year was a struggle for me,” Mauerer said. “Sometimes I was more worried about who was in the stands, than just throwing strikes. It was a mind game that I had to play last year.
“It has been a goal of mine to play Division I baseball for a long time, but I had to hit the ‘reality check’ button, with the way I was pitching last spring, and started thinking of looking at Division II schools,” he added. “I really started to flourish during the summer, and down in Florida (at the CABA World Series), I did pretty well.”
He received most of his Division I offers after his performance at a showcase camp in Independence, Ohio.
“There is where I started throwing 87-88 mph (up from 84-86 mph in the spring),” he said. “I was sort of a late bloomer.”
Mauerer plans on majoring in political science or criminal justice at NKU.
“I’d like to get into the FBI, or something like that,” he said. “But I’d really like to stay in the game of baseball, either as a professional player, or I’d like to start my own baseball academy. I just want to stay in the game somehow.”