MARYVILLE, Mo. — Growing up every young kid has dreams and Northwest senior catcher Alixon Herrera was no different.
Hailing from Maracay, Venezuela, Herrera was able to find a way out of a political unstable country by pursuing a career in baseball.
The 26-year-old catcher came to the United States when he was 20 years old. Unlike most college students, Herrera started is collegiate career when most players end it.
Senior pitcher Ross Davis said because of his experience Herrera helps him control his emotions on the mound.
“He’s very confrontational,” Davis said. “He’s always there for you and like to talk to you when things are going bad. So he’ll come out and calm you down if things aren’t going your way and he’s really supportive when you do something good.”
Davis also explained the age difference between Herrera and the rest of the team is beneficial because at the catcher position, he can see more of the game than anyone else.
The team affectionate calls Herrera “Papi.” Around the field and duggout you can hear the shouts of Herrera’s nickname along with the crack of the bat and the ball flying around the field.
“(We call him Papi) because he’s kinda the old man,” Davis said. “He’s like a dad sometimes. It just kinda fits with his Latin personality too.”
With the season nearing its close, Herrera is having the best year of his career batting .305 with a career-best 37 RBIs, 26 runs and 15 doubles.
The Bearcats will end the season with a road trip to Emporia State with hopes of clinching a spot in the MIAA Conference tournament.