Levi Meyer says his performance suffered this baseball season when he split time at catcher for Iowa Western, but there is little evidence to back that up.
The Goddard product ended the season with a .481 batting average, second in NJCAA. He also ended it as a national champion, helping the Reivers to their second title in three seasons.
Meyer was named to the All-Tournament team and was at bat when Iowa Western scored the winning run on a balk in its 6-5 win over San Jacinto in the national championship game on June 4. He is playing summer baseball in Wisconsin and has signed to play at Florida Atlantic next season.
"I wasn’t getting reps all the time every day," Meyer said. "But it was good to get a rest every now and then and I don’t have to play every other day, so I was able to rest my legs."
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Meyer began to earn more regular playing time toward the end of the season and was essentially the full-time catcher in the national tournament, which the Reivers won in spite of losing their opening game.
The game against San Jacinto was tied in the top of the ninth when Meyer came to bat with two outs and the bases loaded. He was mentally prepared for the most important at-bat of his career but
Meyer’s job was done for him when the opposing pitcher balked in the go-ahead run.
"I wanted to hit, obviously, but it was good that the balk happened to take a little pressure off my back," Meyer said. "We went ahead and I was happy for us and excited to get the next three outs."
Meyer chose Iowa Western coming out of Goddard in part because of the Reivers’ recent success — they’ve been to the NJCAA World Series in six straight seasons and in seven of the last eight.
That prominence also kept Meyer off the field at times. Iowa Western had two capable players at every position and used two lineups throughout the season.
A lack of continuity didn’t hurt the Reivers — they set a school record for wins by finishing 62-8 — but Meyer was worried he wouldn’t be noticed by a Division I program as a part-time player. Those fears were dashed when he signed with Florida Atlantic, making his upcoming summer season virtually stress-free.
"It’s going to be easier," Meyer said. "Summer is where you work on stuff and get better and have fun. I’m just going to try to take the same approach as I did in the spring and take it into summer ball."