Senior PJ Wendler has committed to play baseball at Claremont McKenna College. The Friars right-handed pitcher shared, “I chose Claremont McKenna because the institution provided me with the best avenue to use baseball in my pursuit of academic excellence. I wanted to use baseball as a gateway for me to be successful in life outside of athletics.”
He continued, “What attracted me to the baseball program specifically was that all the guys build a brotherhood bond, just like Servite. I will be training with these guys for years, and that bond will last a lifetime.”
A four-year member of the Servite Baseball program, Wendler has been an impact player so far this season. He is currently second on the team with 14 2/3 innings pitched over five games. He has also tallied 11 strikeouts with an ERA of .955. On Opening Day, Wendler pitched five innings and tallied three strikeouts in the Friars 4-2, 10-inning victory over Bishop Amat. He followed up that performance with a strong outing against San Dimas holding the Saints scoreless in 4 1/3 innings of work to earn his second straight victory on the mound.
Head Coach Shawn Gilbert shared, “We are proud of PJ and his commitment to play at the next level. He has worked extremely hard the past year to get noticed by several colleges and has D1 talent. PJ has really come into his own recently. He has gained arm strength with his fastball putting him into the 90’s and his pitchability has been great so far this year. He has had a big impact for us and has pitched in several close games.”
Coach Gilbert went on to say, “PJ is one of our most valuable pitchers and has stepped up to fill a huge role thus far. He is a strike thrower with a good breaking ball and change up. PJ can either start or come out of the bullpen which helps make him so important for our team. Congratulations to PJ for his commitment, we look forward to following his collegiate career!”
Wendler, who intends to study Economics at Claremont McKenna, also played water polo for the Friars for three years. Beyond athletics, he is involved in the Servite chapter of NHS, CSF, as well as the Surf Club.
Wendler joins Ben Miltko (Davidson College) and Brady Childs (Drury University) as senior Friars committed to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level.
In parting, Wendler shared, “I want to thank everyone that has played a roll in getting me to this next chapter in my baseball career. I want to thank my parents for all the sacrifices they have made to get me to lessons, games, workouts and so much more over the years. I want to thank my grandparents for always pushing me to be better and always supporting me. Finally, I want to thank my pitching coach, Paul Abbott, for helping develop me into the pitcher I am today. Thank you!”