More than just battery mates: Dylan Leach and Javyn Pimental’s friendship continues to grow

Dylan Leach (left) and Javyn Pimental met at Missouri after they both transferred for their junior year. Now, the battery mates are in the same wedding and have plenty of fishing stories to tell. Photo credit Sadie Parker

by Eamonn Ryan

Whitecaps pitcher Javyn Pimental (Missouri) and battery mate Dylan Leach (Missouri) are often found supporting each other from 60 feet, six inches away on a baseball diamond as Pimental readies to mystify opposing hitters.

This October, however, Pimental will stand just a few feet away from Leach as he supports him on one of the biggest days of the catcher’s life: his wedding day.

“I have him in the wedding with me and then some other guys I play ball with all around are going to be in the wedding, so it’ll be nice,” Leach said. “A few of the guys from [Brewster] said they wanted to come, so I might invite them too.” 

The pair have come a long way from meeting a year ago at the University of Missouri, where they both transferred prior to the 2022-23 school year. The first day Leach welcomed Pimental into their place, he had supper ready for both of them before he settled on another idea to get to know his new roommate.

“I had made some pork chops as a macaroni and stuff for him and then said, ‘Hey, you want to go fishing?” Leach said. “So I pulled up the truck and we loaded it up, went fishing somewhere and caught a couple of fish, but that’s kind of what we do.”

Leach and Pimental took very different paths to Missouri, and both have traversed even further north than they might have pictured. Pimental, a Hawaii native, began his college career at Arizona, played a summer season in Alaska and spent his junior season at Missouri before making the trip to Brewster. 

Leach grew up in Texas and enrolled at Arkansas for his first two seasons before transferring over to Missouri and then coming up to the Cape. 

Entering Friday’s action, Leach held a .467 batting average, good for fourth in the Cape League. His ninth-inning, game-tying home run against Chatham helped secure a comeback tie for the Whitecaps. Photo credit Sadie Parker.

Leach’s spring season was not the easiest from a hitting standpoint, mustering just a .193 average over 114 at-bats. However, he has been one of the hottest hitters in the Cape League over the first five games, going 7-for-15 with three walks and a home run to help power the Whitecaps to a 3-1-1 start.

“I hit maybe two backside balls in the 28-30 games I played,” Leach said. “And here I’ve already hit four or five, so I mean, it’s been really good.”

While his hitting skills have certainly shown, he has yet to prove Pimental wrong about how fast he can throw off a mound. Back at Missouri, the two argued over whether Leach could throw 93 miles per hour, but he came out on the losing end.

“I had a bet with [Pimental] that I could get on the mound and hit 93 at least once and if I didn’t, I’d owe him a lifetime supply of baits,” Leach said. “I got up there and I think I was sitting like 89-90 and I couldn’t touch it.”

Leach likes to mention that he did in fact hit 93, it was just off a crow hop. But Pimental doesn’t think that should count.

On the first day the pair arrived in Brewster for this summer season, Pimental went right back to Leach’s well.

“The day we got here, we went straight to the tackle store. Bought like $100 worth of stuff,” Pimental said. “Made him buy it, obviously.”

Pimental catches a fish on a day off. On the first day they arrived in Brewster, he and Leach loaded up and went fishing but didn’t get as lucky. Photo credit Dylan Leach.

Leach is happy to be up and fishing in the Northeast, but Pimental is much more concerned about the weather. Wearing hoodies in June is not his preferred clothing for summer.

“It’s cold. It’s been a little chilly lately,” Pimental said. “I experienced that at Mizzou for the first time. We have snow and whatnot, it’s whatever.”

When he arrived in Missouri without a jacket, Leach just laughed and knew that he was in for a rude awakening.

The weather wasn’t the only difficult part of Pimental’s first season at Missouri, as he battled through an injury that sidelined him for two months, making the transition to SEC baseball even more difficult. He did finish with 25 strikeouts in 26 innings of work, though, and had good outings throughout the season.

The lefty took the ball as Brewster’s opening day starter Saturday, June 10, and surrendered just two runs on three hits, punching out six batters in four innings. Leach called the game from behind the plate as the Whitecaps pulled out a 6-4 win over the Bourne Braves.

“That went pretty well, I think. The team also made a lot of good plays for me as well, especially in the outfield,” Pimental said. “It’s been great having [Leach] back there, had him back there all year during school, so it made things a lot easier to just be comfortable.”

Pimental’s first outing was a success, as he allowed just two runs in four innings and dominated hitters with a wipeout slider, amassing six strikeouts. Photo credit Sadie Parker.

Having each other in Missouri and Brewster has made the whole process of moving easier, and they’ve gotten to know each other well. Leach apparently has a massive sweet tooth, so Pimental will mess with him every once in a while and leave a candy bar out to see how long it takes Leach to eat it.

“He got a Kit Kat bar, but he wasn’t gonna eat it and he let it sit on the table, and I watched that candy bar for three days, just sitting there,” Leach said. “So I just ate it. He comes in there that afternoon and goes, ‘Hey, where’d the KitKat bar go?’ and I just walked away.”

Knowing each other clearly translates to the field since they’re comfortable with the calls and pitches that they both have, whether that’s in Missouri black and yellow or Brewster pinstripes. 

But this friendship goes beyond baseball; it echoes through wedding halls and fishing ponds, and right now, at Stony Brook Field.

“I’m excited to just keep building on this friendship,” Leach said. “I mean, we’re still getting to know each other but we know each other pretty good. I’m just excited.”

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