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winter 2018
terrier change up

A Terrier changeup

Brenk and Lee rounding the bases overseas.

Once a baseball player at Wofford graduates, he usually hangs up his cleats and begins the next phase of his life. Eric Brenk ’14 and Alex Lee ’11, however, have found a way to keep playing the sport they love while traveling the world.

Lee, a business economics major, played in 172 career games as an infielder for the Terriers before getting his chance to head overseas. He is playing in Adelaide, South Australia, this winter after spending the summer playing with Arrows Ostrava in the Czech Republic.

“I actually started off coaching in the spring of 2014 just outside of Vienna, Austria,” says Lee. “That turned into playing in a few weekend tournaments with international teams, which led to connections that have allowed me to do this for three additional seasons between Europe and Australia.”

Lee says Australia is fun, but he misses the “absurd things that happened in Europe on an almost daily basis, mostly due to the language barrier. More specifically, I loved the Czech Republic. There was one older guy in our club who didn’t speak a lick of English. He was always smiling and high-fiving me after games with a beer in his hand. My roommate told me that he had introduced baseball to the city back when it was Czechoslovakia, and his interpretation of the rule for hitting home runs was that you could run around the bases as many times as possible until the other team got the ball back into play. So, in theory, your team could score 28 runs on a grand slam if everyone made it around the bases seven times.”

Brenk, a double major in finance and economics, played in 158 career games at Wofford, primarily at third base. When the opportunity to play baseball professionally in America fell through, Brenk took advantage of his German citizenship and begin playing in Europe. He currently plays for the Bonn Capitals of the German Bundesliga. 

“The whole experience has been incredible, combining playing the game I love with the opportunity to live in another country,” says Brenk. “I've also had the privilege of playing for the German national team, which is a huge honor. Last September I started studying for my master's degree in international business, so that has added to the experience as well.”

Brenk and Lee have crossed paths several times on the international circuit – as teammates with the EU International Stars during Prague Baseball Week in 2014 and 2015, and most recently from opposite dugouts at the Buchbinder Cup in Regensburg, Germany. 

“There are only a handful of guys who do the international circuit every year, so facing Brenk was pretty unlikely seeing as we were in different countries,” says Lee. “I think he hit four doubles against us that day, which should never happen. He also pitched the 8th and 9th innings against us in mop-up duty.... For the record I hit a single to left off of him.”

by Brent Williamson, associate athletics director for media relations

Spring 2016