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Prep Rally - High School

The latest season of "American Idol" is still just getting going, but one of the early contestants to turn judges' heads has a decent fallback plan if he isn't performing in L.A. during the show's final rounds. It's called baseball season.

According to the News & Observer, Garner (N.C.) High pitcher Scott McCreery made a big impact in his initial audition, impressing judges with deep-toned, country-twanged renditions of "Your Man" and "Put Some Drive in Your Country."

Making the early going more auspicious for McCreery, the show shot video footage from around McCreery's hometown, including a handful of shots showing McCreery working out with Garner baseball coach Derek Goffena.

"I've been on national television before, when I played baseball at Georgia Tech and we were on ESPN," Goffena told the News & Observer. "I never thought I'd be on 'American Idol.'"

Yet McCreery's success in front of a microphone could hinder his development in pitching a baseball. The junior spent his first two seasons as a starting pitcher on the Garner junior varsity team, finishing 6-1 with a 1.04 ERA as a sophomore. That followed a freshman season in which he was 4-0 in more limited action.

McCreery's progress continued over the summer, and his coach made it clear that there is a role with Garner's varsity team waiting for the pitcher this year ... as long as he can participate.

"We don't know his schedule," Goffena told the News & Observer. "Scotty doesn't know. But Scotty is [a] great guy. He is very involved in school and is a kid that you want to be in your program because you know that he is never going to let you down.

"We're all supporting him."

The only question now is whether Goffena and the rest of the Garner baseball program will be cheering him in front of a microphone or on a pitching mound come April.

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