In spring 2011, Scotty McCreery became the most famous high school junior varsity baseball pitcher in America. While McCreery was scheduled to take a spot in the Garner (N.C.) High varsity bullpen, the teen had never played in a varsity game and was looking forward to making an impact during his junior season.
At the same time, McCreery happened to make a splash during an "American Idol" audition. As the tryouts wore on and McCreery kept advancing, he eventually had to step back and sit out the entire 2011 baseball season as he chased his singing dream (even if he was credited with a save that he never actually earned). Clearly that was a good call, as it's made McCreery one heck of a trivia answer: He is now likely the only baseball player who performed at a World Series game (albeit with a microphone rather than a bat or glove) before he did so in a varsity high school game.
True to his word, McCreery is back at Garner High to finish off his high school education … and he's now officially back pitching for the Trojans. According to the News & Oberserver, McCreery made his long-awaited varsity debut out of the bullpen on Saturday, and the results were almost as good as the teen's now famous country croon.
In a single inning of work, McCreery recorded two strikeouts and allowed no base hits or walks. He eventually needed four outs to retire the side because his catcher dropped the third strike against one of the batters the senior faced, but that was no problem either, leaving him with a final line of 1 IP, 2 K, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 ER, and, of course, a nice tidy ERA of 0.00. Not bad work, thanks to the singer's dominant curveball keeping hitters off balance throughout the lone inning he pitched.
[ Y! Music: Check out Scotty McCreery's music videos ]
"It feels good just to come out here and just get back on the field," McCreery told the News & Observer. "I thought my curveball worked well. But today was just about the team. I'm glad to help out the team in any way possible."
McCreery's performance in the top of the seventh inning was the highlight of a tough 8-7 Garner loss at the hands of Fuquay-Varina (N.C.) High, one of the state's top teams. Perhaps most impressive was the singing sensation's complete willingness to fit back in with his teammates seamlessly. According to the News & Observer, McCreery took a full role raking the dirt around home plate and the pitcher's mound after the game.
"It means a lot to still be a part of this," McCreery said. "It's still playing with my friends, just being back home. I'm blessed to have this opportunity."
Given all of the other opportunities McCreery has, that says something about his dedication to the sport he fell in love with growing up. He may not have as bright a future in baseball as he does on the stage, but Garner's favorite son is likely to look back fondly on his days as a Trojans pitcher regardless.
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