The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 24, 2013

Wuest helps Outlaws split with Clarinda

By Richard Polen
Globe Sports Writer

— Brian Wuest answered the call of the wild.

With Kyle Dickens at second base and one out in the bottom of the eighth inning of a 2-2 game Saturday night, Wuest said he heard the duck calls coming from the Joplin Outlaws’ bullpen in the second game of a doubleheader against Clarinda.

Wuest’s line-drive double into left-center field scored Dickens with the winning run in a 3-2 victory against Clarinda in the second game of a MINK League doubleheader at Joe Becker Stadium. Clarinda won the first game 8-3.

Starting pitcher Chad Bradford, who will be a sophomore this fall at Arkansas-Little Rock, shut out Clarinda on three hits through the first four innings. He resumed his duck-calling role in the bullpen after he was relieved by Andrew Schwaab in the fifth.

The duck on the pond was Dickens, who led off the bottom of the eighth by grounding a single into right field and was sacrificed to second by Enrique Finol.

“Yeah, it was me and two other guys,” Bradford said of the duck calls. “We started blowing them.”

Wuest, who recently went to a tryout for the Texas Rangers, returned to the Outlaws’ lineup Friday night against Nevada. He doubled and drew three walks Sunday in a 12-10 victory against Clarinda.

“Last night (Saturday) was the first day I felt good at the plate,” said Wuest, who batted .397 with 15 home runs and 64 RBIs for Nebraska-Kearney last spring. “I felt good other days, but the timing wasn’t there.”

Wuest’s RBI total tied for fifth place in NCAA Division II.

“The Rangers flew me out to Phoenix, and we drove to Surprise, Ariz., where their spring training camp is,” Wuest said. “It was a tryout for four of us for one spot in Spokane, Wash.

“We ran 60s. We took batting practice and got some at bats against AZL (Arizona League) pitching. They took another guy because he was right-handed and could play third base.”

Wuest, who is from Prosper, Texas, and played in high school at Plano West, said he has retained an agent and is pursuing opportunities in professional baseball. In the meantime, he’ll play first base and right field for the Outlaws.

“I’m still looking for a free-agent contract, exploring some independent ball options,” he said. “It’s just a waiting game right now. Hopefully, they’ll come back for a second look, figure out that they need me. That would be great.”