Come September, Kyran Weemaels will be returning to the mound for the Belgium national baseball team.
The pitcher, who is nearing his 19th birthday, picked up a couple innings in the Flanders Invitational Baseball Tournament in Antwerp last July and is looking to gain more experience in the European Championship in Hoofddorp, Netherlands, Sept. 9-18.
"I got the email last week, and it felt pretty good," said Weemaels of receiving the news.
Last year's tournament included a small portion of the lineup that will be showing this year as Belgium takes on Spain, Croatia, Italy, France and Greece in the round-robin in the first five days of the championship.
With so much baseball, Weemaels said 10 pitchers are on hand.
"I was informed that I might be one of the aces," he said. "We had a couple practices, and they wanted me as a starter."
Weemaels aspires to help his team advance from their pool into the playoff rounds.
"We have a pretty good team, and I feel pretty confident for myself," he said. "Having the experience will be sweet."
Weemaels said he has developed his game in the last 12 months since he met France in Antwerp, where in two-and-a-half relief innings in a 9-8 loss, two pro-athletes managed to get home runs against him.
"Now I've been placing my balls better," he said. "I've decided that if I pitch against France I'm excited to show them that I improved this much in one year."
The 2015 George McDougall graduate spent last winter and spring practicing with the Brescia University Bearcats in Owensboro, Kentucky within the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
This summer he has been with the premier league Brasschaat Braves in Belgium.
In that time he has learned to make hitters chase the ball more, thanks to improving his two- and four-seam curve balls, slider and change up.
Weemaels will take a break from the Braves for the remainder of August while training with the national team.
He said Brasschaat is in the final four for the league and will continue playoffs following the European Championship.