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Pitcher of the Year Heath Fillmyer Returns To Campus for Plaque Presentation


West Windsor, N.J. – For Heath Fillmyer, former star pitcher at Mercer County Community College (MCCC), life has been busier than ever since May, when the Vikings baseball team competed at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) World Series. It was their first appearance since 2003. 

Fillmyer, who came to MCCC in Fall 2012 as a shortstop, ended his Vikings career as the NJCAA Pitcher of the Year for 2014. In June, he was drafted by Major League Baseball’s Oakland A’s in the fifth round and spent the summer playing rookie ball in Scottsdale, Ariz.

According to Fillmyer, Mercer was a great place to learn life lessons – in the classroom and on the field.  “Mercer taught me responsibility and time management,” said Fillmyer, who recently returned to campus to accept the NJCAA Pitcher of the Year plaque, a first for an MCCC player.

Pitcher of the Year Heath Fillmyer with Head Coach Kevin Kerins. Fillmyer recalls the Vikings’ trip to the NJCAA World Series in Oklahoma as one of the best experiences of his life.

Fillmyer says that the coaching staff, led by Head Coach Kevin Kerins, taught him the elements of the game that can make the difference between a good player and a potentially great one.  In his transition from shortstop to pitcher, he is grateful to the staff for recognizing his pitching potential. “My favorite part about pitching is that the game doesn’t start until I throw the ball,” Fillmyer says.

A graduate of Florence High School, he recalls that college ball was a big step up from high school. “You learn to push yourself physically and mentally,” Fillmyer said, adding that handling the pressure, particularly in his second year when MLB scouts became a regular presence at home games, was a matter of working hard in practice.

“If you put the time in, it becomes just another game. You go out there and you have fun,” he explains.

Looking back on his first season of professional baseball, Fillmyer says he continued to rely on the work ethic he established at Mercer.

“Everyone is good. You have to find ways to make yourself better.” He ended the season as an Arizona A’s reliever with a 2.79 earned run average and opponents hitting only .147 against him.

He notes that Mercer “was my fit.  I was very comfortable with the coaches and I worked well with my teammates,” he says.

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