T.J. Weir celebrated some big wins during his years as a three-sport athlete at Kokomo High School. He was a freshman starter on the Kokomo baseball squad that lost the 2007 Class 4A state final, and was a senior when the Kats next won the sectional title in 2010.
They were great days, great moments, great memories.
What he experienced on May 16 trumped them all.
Weir was Ball State’s pitcher that day. The Cardinals needed a win to clinch the Mid-American Conference West Division championship, the outright league title and the No. 1 seed. They got it with a 4-3 victory at Northern Illinois, capping a four-year climb.
“It was huge,” said Weir, who was BSU’s winning pitcher that day. “The weekend before we swept Kent State at our place. It was senior day, they were on top of the conference the whole time I played here. [After that] we needed one win to clinch it and we won [at Northern]. I think it was a one-run game. We dogpiled and went crazy. It was a pretty awesome feeling
“Nothing compares to what we did this year,” said Weir, contrasting it with big moments he enjoyed as a Wildkat. “We literally went from the bottom to the top of the conference in my four years here, so nothing compares to this.”
Weir, who was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 17th round of the MLB draft on Saturday, gets the satisfaction of going out on top with the Cardinals. The senior pitcher and infielder made the all-MAC squad after he went 8-2 on the mound, logging the most innings (99 2/3) of any pitcher on the BSU staff. He finished the season with a 3.61 ERA with 117 strikeouts and only 39 walks. He struck out a MAC-high 14 batters in an April game against Western Michigan, and had eight or more strikeouts in seven outings. His strikeout total was ninth in the nation.