Alex Nimmo has become a nice fit as Ozark’s lead-off hitter since assuming that role midway through this season, thanks to his penchant for being hit by a pitch.
He had been beaned a team-high seven times prior to the Tigers’ trip to the Columbia Festival over the weekend.
“I get up on the plate and if it comes at me, I'm not scared (to) take it for the team,” Nimmo said.
“He's a magnet,” coach Justin Sundlie said. “He’s not going to jump out of the way of a ball, I know that. You talk about a selfless kid, it's always about the team first. That's a big deal with a leadoff hitter, willing to do whatever it takes.”
Sundlie is also confident Nimmo will give the Tigers quality plate appearances while getting on base in front of the likes of Brady Dodd, Hudson Roberts and Cooper Buvid.
“He never has bad at-bats,” Sundlie said. “He understands how to hit in any count.”
Nimmo began this season at the bottom of Ozark’s lineup. He was moved up in an effort to give Dodd, Roberts and Buvid more RBI opportunities.
“I feel comfortable there and honored to have coach put me there and trust me that much,” Nimmo said.
Nimmo has also made himself valuable by playing about anywhere in the infield. He’s primarily been at second base, but has also caught, played third base and pitched.
He’s happy to be a utility type.
“Playing wherever the team needs me, it's fun and always keeps you on your toes,” Nimmo said. “You show up to the field never knowing exactly what your job is.”
Nimmo’s sister, Brittany, was a fixture in the center circle for Ozark’s softball team. The 2015 Ozark grad was the Gatorade Missouri Player Of The Year her senior season and went on to play in college at North Carolina State.
“Her pitching was crazy. She threw strikes, threw it hard and had that rise ball,” Alex said. “My whole life, she's been my inspiration and lead role model.”
Likewise, Alex has learned under the tutelage of his father, Jimmy, Ozark’s softball coach and an assistant on Sundlie’s staff.
“Most of my life he's been my head coach,” Alex said. “He's been a great mentor.”