Reid Werner wants to accumulate as many memories as possible during his final games as a high school baseball player.
Werner, a pitcher/outfielder for Greenwood the past four seasons, participates in this weekend’s annual Indiana North-South All-Star Series at Oil City Stadium in Whiting.
Located 20 miles southeast of Chicago, the stadium hosts a doubleheader Saturday.
A third and final North-South matchup, in which solely wooden bats are used and players wear their high school uniforms, is Sunday afternoon.
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“I think it’s a good opportunity to represent my school and show people that we have a pretty good athletic program here,” said Werner, a 6-foot-4 right-hander capable of reaching 90 mph on the radar gun.
“I’ll be going up there as a pitcher. They really don’t say if you’re a starter or reliever,” Werner said. “They’ll probably just have one person start, pitch maybe two innings and the rest of us will go one inning throughout the rest of the game.”
Werner reports to the South All-Stars today in Whiting.
It’s an opportunity for players to pick up uniforms and hats, establish new friendships and become better acquainted with a venue unfamiliar to the majority of them.
Werner led Mid-State Conference pitchers in wins (seven), strikeouts (72) and no-hitters (2) this past spring to go along with a 1.36 earned run average.
At the plate, the two-time Daily Journal All-County Team selection hit .310 and drove in 25 runs for the Woodmen.
“The thing I’ll always think about Reid’s senior season is not many people throw two no-hitters in one season,” said Greenwood baseball coach Andy Bass, referring to Werner’s regular-season win against Mooresville and the gem pitched in an 8-0 victory against Martinsville in sectional.
“In terms of the person Reid is, he’s a great person. We have a lot of kids coming back next season, but you can’t replace a Reid Werner.”
Werner, who plays right field when not pitching, excels academically with a 3.9 grade-point average. He will major in operations and supply chain management and play baseball at the University of Indianapolis.
Werner’s workout partner this summer is former Greenwood pitcher Jonathan Bowen, now a redshirt sophomore in the University of Indianapolis program. This duo combined with former Center Grove standouts Devon Hensley and incoming freshman catcher Will Smithey give the Greyhounds four players from Johnson County high schools.
All three of this weekend’s All-Star games promise to be special to Werner, who as a senior delivered two or more hits on seven occasions.
But the opportunity to put on his Woodmen uniform one last time makes Sunday’s outing truly unique.
“I get to represent my school, and that’s really an exciting thing,” Werner said. “I’m just looking forward to the opportunity of playing more baseball. It’s good competition.
“It will be good experience for me transitioning to a college atmosphere. I’ll get to see good, quality hitters and really be able to show what I can do.”
THE WERNER FILE
Name: Reid Werner
Family: Parents, Roger and Rhonda; brother, Ross, 20
Favorite TV show: “Impractical Jokers”
Favorite food: Italian
Favorite movie: “The Martian”
Favorite athlete: Ken Griffey Jr.
Favorite team: Cincinnati Reds