ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – When Mark Vierling and the 2015 State Champion CBC Cadets made its playoff run, Mark had a familiar face just to his right on every play. His older brother Matt Vierling.
“Towards the end of the year he was playing short and I was playing second and it was just awesome,” Mark Vierling says. “He was supporting me the whole way so it was pretty, pretty cool.”
As the second base, shortstop combo in part of 2015, the Vierlings were the only two Cadets hitting over .400 for the season. Mark, a sophomore in 2015, often was the leadoff hitter and Matt, a senior who did nearly everything, batted third all season.
Head coach Mason Horne says even though their talents are similar, their personalities are not.
“Matt was as pretty easy going as you’ll find,” Horne says. “Mark who seems that way is pretty hard nose, just kinda of a fighter almost. And that’s probably because he has grown up in (Matt’s) footsteps and has had to fight for dinner at the table and playing time in the backyard .”
Horne also found out just how close the Vierling brothers are during one of Mark’s at bats in last year’s championship game.
“I remember Mark got thrown at one time and I had never seen Matt react the way he did,” Horne says. “And so you found out real quickly how close knit they were.”
There’s a lot more space between the Vierlings now, with Matt in his freshman season at the University of Notre Dame. He’s 1-0 for the Fighting Irish as a pitcher, but also plays the outfield and has started all but one game this Spring.
But Matt had another option, one he discovered during the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft.
“I think I was in my basement and my brother was upstairs and he’s listening to (the draft),” Mark says. “And he gives me a call and says ‘Mark I got drafted by the Cardinals’ and I was like ‘Oh my gosh the Cardinals, oh my gosh.’ I couldn’t believe it, it was awesome just for our family.”
Matt was selected in the 30th round by St. Louis, but still decided college was a better path. And now he’s helping Mark down a similar road. The junior shortstop has accepted an offer to play for the University of Missouri in 2017.
“He knew like every single thing about it which really, really helped,” Mark says. “I mean I just felt very comfortable throughout the whole thing and I feel some kids probably felt a little uncomfortable. They didn’t have brother who went through it.”
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