Baseball a real family event at BYU

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    By T.J. Brinkerhoff

    The Fernley kids were raised on a baseball diamond.

    Their father, Robert Fernley, instilled in them a love for the game of baseball in their early years.

    Now that they have grown up, they are bringing their talents one by one to the campus of BYU to play the game they have devoted their lives to.

    As of Fall semester, there are three Cougars in the Fernley clan: Nate, the oldest in the family; Emily, the only girl; and Sam, the newest edition.

    They also have a younger brother, Jeff, who plays first base and pitches in high school and is looking to come to BYU.

    Nate and Sam are both pitchers on the BYU baseball team, and their sister Emily plays in the outfield on the BYU softball team.

    While the Fernley’s grew up in a competitive environment, they are more inclined to a sense of mutual respect than a feeling of sibling rivalry.

    “My brothers are amazing,” Emily said. “It was so much fun growing up between them because of the competitiveness that we had with each other.”

    Nate and Sam shared the same sentiment about their sister, but in a slightly different way.

    “She was the only girl with three boys so she had to play with us to make the teams even,” said Nate.

    But the Fernley boys confessed their sister does possess a lot of athletic talent.

    “She is the top athlete in our family,” Sam said. “She is faster and stronger than us. She is an all-around better athlete.”

    Emily isn’t so sure that she is deserving of her brothers’ praise.

    “They say that because I was a three-sport athlete in high school, but they are amazing pitchers,” Emily said. “They both do some really great things and I think that it is really cool that they are playing together here at BYU.”

    Because of their age difference this is the first time that Nate and Sam have ever played together on the same team.

    While Nate served a mission in Salta, Argentina, Sam was able to gain a few years of experience, bringing his level of play closer to Nate’s.

    “This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get to play with my brother,” Sam said. “I’m glad Nate talked me into coming here.”

    Sam recalled that when he was younger he would go to Nate’s games and watch them play, thinking that Nate and his teammates were so old.

    Nate, on the other hand, remembered playing the role of an assistant coach for Sam’s little league teams.

    So what happened when they faced off against each other on the mound this fall in a scrimmage?

    “I grounded to Nate,” Sam said.

    “How did you get out?” Sam asked Nate.

    “I struck out.”

    Nate shrugged his shoulders and they both laughed.

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