Jon Kemmer Has Great Showing In Game Before Hometown Fans (07/15/13)

Clarion High School and Clarion Little League product, Jon Kemmer had a homecoming of sorts, on Thursday, July 11, as the Tri-City Valley Cats (Houston Astros Class A- minor league affiliate) visited the Mahonining Valley Scrappers (Cleveland Indians Class A – affiliate).

A good number of folks from the Clarion community, including family members, friends, former high school baseball and football coaches and teammates and fans made the hour and a quarter, trek to Eastwood Field, in Niles, just outside of Youngstown.

And did Jon ever give the hometown fans something to cheer about!

Starting in left field, in game one of a double header, Jon caught a fly ball in the second. He reached base, in the third, on a fielder’s choice and later advanced to second.

But he saved the best till last. Since this was a doubleheader, each game was scheduled for seven innings. But the score was 1-1 after regulation.

With one out in the top of the eighth, Jon reached first on a single. He advanced to second on a single by Cody Ferrell and then scored, what proved to be the game winning run on a double by Josh McAdams (Adam Nelubowich also scored on the play). The Valley Cats would score twice more in the inning.

To add icing to the cake, Jon caught a fly ball to end the game.

On the hit and scoring game winning run, Jon said,“It was a pretty crazy feeling. I was just hoping to get a base hit there. I’ve been struggling a little bit. But it was great to see it turn around and help the team out the best I can.”

Jon connecting on hit that led to his scoring the winning run

Jon connecting on hit that led to his scoring the winning run

Jon expressed his delight in seeing the folks from home, “It’s great. It’s like basically a home game for me. So this is awesome. I had a great time, seeing all the people I’ve missed and stuff. It’s great … Great to see some familiar faces and glad everyone could make it out.” It’s awesome.”

As for his experience playing pro ball so far, Jon commented, “Pretty much a dream come true and everything, playing baseball for a living and having a great time, can’t ask for much more than that.”

And of Mom and Dad being there, “It’s great. I haven’t seen them in a while. So it was good to see Mom and Dad and everyone. So it’s great, awesome.”

Jon with Mom

Jon with Mom

Jon’s high school coach, Lee Weber who saw Jon play pro ball for the first time said, “I talked to Ed (Jon’s Father and long time CHS assistant baseball coach) a few days ago and he told me Jonny’s going to be going to Ohio, by the Youngstown area. So I knew that wasn’t a very long ride for us, so I was excited to have an opportunity to come and actually see him for the first time.”

Coach Weber liked what he saw Jon do on Thursday night. He said, “Jon was always a confident player. And even at this level, he still exudes that confidence we saw here. And you can see it. At the plate he made contact all three times. (He) got a crucial hit, in the extra innings there, to get the inning started. And eventually he ended up scoring the winning run.

“You know Jon’s a kid that can hit for power, but can also can hit the other way. So for a guy who can hit for power, he makes pretty good contact, consistently. And also, got the last out of the game, to seal the deal.”

Jon with Coach Weber

Coach Weber expressed his his pride in what is happening with Jon, “(I’m) very proud of Jon. I was tickled to death when I heard he got drafted. And he deserves it. He and his dad put in a lot of hours, days, years, into the sport of baseball. So it’s just good to see someone that dedicated to get this opportunity.”

I was just a small part of Jon’s success in baseball and I’m just very happy and very proud to be a small part of Jon’s success.”

Jon’s Father, Ed talked of Jon’s game and the wonderful experience the Kemmer family is having, of late, “He had a really good game tonight: 1 for 3 and scored the winning run and made the last out of the game. I don’t know. We’ve just been on cloud nine since the day of the draft. We still haven’t come down yet. And not until you come to a place like this and you see all this support that’s here, does it really sink in, that it really did happen.”

Ed is very appreciative of the hometown support, “It’s just great the way the community came out and supported him. I don’t think he believes it. He was very impressed with it. He really was.

“We got to thank the people from home for supporting him too.”

And of Jon’s work ethic, Ed stated, “Someday it will sink in to him, what he has accomplished. If anybody is going to succeed at it, it’s going to be him. If you can do it by hard work, he’ll get it done.”

Jon’s Mother Jackie shared her thoughts, “I was so proud of Jon for his first game. I just can’t believe that it’s really happening. He (Jon) said to me, tonight, ‘Mom, this is like a dream. All my friends and family are here from Clarion.’ And he was so proud.”

This is my very first game. I haven’t been able to go yet. Ed and Scott (Jon’s brother) got to go once. But this is my very first game and I’m really, really enjoying it.”

The Valley Cats won the second game, of the night, 1-0 and then beat Mahoning Valley again on Friday, 2-1. They beat Batavia 5-4 on Saturday, to improve to 18-9. They lead the New York-Penn League’s Pinkney Division by two games.

Great game, Jon!!!!