WAYNE – A northeast Nebraska high school baseball player will be staying in his hometown as he signed his national letter of intent Wednesday afternoon.
Jacob Kneifl, of Wayne High will attend Wayne State College next fall and compete on the Wildcat baseball team in in the spring of 2022.
Kneifl talked about why the decision in choosing Wayne State College was easy.
“I’ve been around the baseball program and I really just wanted to play baseball,” said Kneifl. “I’ve gone to camps ever since I was young and the coaches are really nice to me.”
Kneifl will major in Pre-Medicine at WSC and will also be participating in basketball and baseball to close out his senior year at Wayne High School.
After missing out on his junior season of spring baseball at Wayne High, Jacob Kneifl was able to compete for the Wayne Post 43 Senior American Legion baseball team during their shortened season.
Notable stats provided by Wayne High baseball head coach Adam Hoffman for Jacob Kneifl:
Freshman year: 5-2 pitching record (school record in wins) with a 2.42 ERA and 43 strikeouts
Sophomore year: .345 batting average, three triples (school record); 3-4 pitching record with 2.83 ERA and 42 strikeouts
Past two summers combined: 17-0 pitching record with a .708 ERA, 175 strikeouts and 30 walks.
Head Wayne State College baseball coach, Alex Koch will begin his seventh season leading the Wildcat program. He added that Jacob Kneifl has been coming to camps at a young age and is a competitor.
“It’s been fun to watch him throughout his career,” said Koch. “He’s really developed into a player that we think can contribute here at the college. We’ve always loved the left-handed arm; he’s a big-time strike thrower and he can throw all of his pitches for strikes.”
Coach Koch mentioned it was difficult for the Wildcat baseball coaching staff not being able to get out and see players this past spring and summer.
“Really for us to get ready for the 2022 season is getting out and seeing more players and being able to evaluate,” Koch mentioned. “We really like the class that we’re going to sign, the guys that we have committed. So, really we’re on to 2022s and it’s all about getting out and evaluating.”
The Wayne State College baseball team finished their shortened spring season in 2020 at 8-7.
The Wildcat baseball team was able to get in about 30 days of their 45 days of fall practices before their off-season works outs were halted due to COVID.
Coach Koch said it’s kind of been a grind to figure out.
“But the guys that are healthy and getting in, they’re getting a lot of good work in” said Koch. “Our new indoor that we have has been phenomenal for us. It’s a great turf space, the guys have been able to get a lot of good work in here since we’ve been inside.”
NSIC schools are still waiting to decide on a winter/spring schedule for participating programs.