Greenbrier Pitcher Michael Newman capped off the best season of his baseball career with a 9-4 win over cross-county and Region 3-AAAA rival Lakeside on Thursday.
The Athlete Spotlight is on Greenbrier's Michael Newman.
Photo by Michael Holahan
Although he recorded a win, Newman felt somewhat disappointed when Lakeside's Jonathan Crawford sent a shot over the center field wall in the seventh inning.
"That was the only home run hit off me this year," the senior said. "But it happened, and I've just got to move on and get ready for the playoffs."
Also a third baseman, Newman will pitch one of the double-header games in the first round of state playoffs Friday at the Brierpatch and then assume his role in the infield in the other game.
Newman sports an ERA this season of 1.08. His pitching arsenal includes a splitter, curve, change-up, slider and fastball.
Also boasting a 3.7 GPA, Newman said his brains contributed as much to his success this season as his brawn.
"We do as much research as we can on the other teams," he said. "It allows me and the catcher, Jeremy Armstrong, to talk about where we want to pitch people.
"If they have a quick swing we don't want to get it inside where they can turn on it. If they have a slow swing, we want to get inside, so they can't turn on it. We set up all of our pitches based on that."
A new experience for Newman this season has been when he steps off the pitcher's mound and into the batter's box.
With a batting average of .341, Newman blasted three balls over the fence this season, the only three home runs of his high school career.
"I surprised myself," he said. "I started playing third base this year, because we needed someone and I had some infield experience.
"Since middle school, I've primarily been a pitcher," Newman continued. "As a freshman, they brought be up as a pitcher. I didn't expect to be able to hit like I've been hitting."
Newman's impressive statistics this season may very well translate into baseball scholarship, Greenbrier head baseball coach Ed Williams said.
"He's having a terrific season," Williams said. "I'll be surprised if no one tries to recruit him."
In fact, Newman said he has been talking to scouts from Southern Polytech State University in Marietta, Ga., but nothing has been decided yet.
"I don't have a particular preference on where I go to school," he said. "I just love playing baseball and want to continue playing it."
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