This summer isn’t the first time St. Joseph Mustang’s player and South Dakota State sophomore Drew Beazley has been to St. Joseph, Missouri.
“When we travel south for baseball from South Dakota, we usually travel through St. Joe to get to our series down south,” Beazley said. “My coach said as we were traveling through this year, ‘Well Beazley, this is a good place to hit doubles.’”
Beazley’s South Dakota State coaches wanted him to continue playing baseball in the offseason. When his coach mentioned he played baseball in the past with Mustangs’ manager Johnny Coy at Wichita State, it became a perfect fit for Beazley.
“It’s been a lot of fun just playing with a bunch of other college baseball guys and it’s kind of fun just to get around to experience baseball with new people,” Beazley said.
Iowa native Beazley has been playing baseball since he was seven. His Johnston High School baseball coach Michael Barta said he is a phenomenal competitor.
“He just gets on the field and I mean mentally, physically, his communication level, everything helps his team win all the time,” Barta said. “He’s one of the few that I’ve had that he’s able to play at a high level into the season over and over again.”
Despite mainly competing as a pitcher, Beazley has transitioned to playing as a first and third baseman for the Mustangs.
“The main difference I would say is the throw from third,” said Beazley. “You have to throw more when you’re playing on the left side of the infield compared to the right side so that’s the main difference for me this summer.”
Barta maintains Beazley has a unique, dynamic ability to play the game of baseball.
“First of all, you have to have a great IQ to do that. It doesn’t surprise me at all with his IQ, his ability to just know the game is elite with all the kids I’ve coached in my lifetime,” Barta said.
Beazley said some of his favorite memories in St. Joseph so far involve the community and the fans rallying around the baseball team.
“Probably the best thing is just being a great influence to the kids in the community and them just looking up to the players,” Beazley said. “One kid asked me for an autograph the other night but he didn’t have a sharpie so I went and got one and signed the ball for him and gave it back.”
Barta added it’s Beazley’s leadership that helps him compete at a high level on any field he steps onto to play baseball.
“He has tremendous character and willingness to do anything he asks you to do, so it wouldn’t be a surprise that he would fit in the community and do whatever it took to help the team, not only the community, while he’s down there,” Barta said.