Hogs select CHS pitcher for USSSA World Series

Published 12:01am Wednesday, July 18, 2012

NATCHEZ — Thomas Garrity admitted that he hasn’t been keeping his arm stretched out as much as he should lately.

But once he got a phone call from a USSSA team asking him to pitch in the USSSA 15 and under Double-A World Series, Garrity made the correction right away.

The Cathedral High School pitcher got the call from the Hub City Hogs, a USSSA team based out of Hattiesburg, last Wednesday. The coaches informed Garrity that another pitcher had dropped out and they would need Garrity to both pitch and play center field for the Hogs when tournament play starts Thursday.

“After I got the call, I went out with my little brother and long tossed with him,” Garrity said, adding that he had been slacking in keeping his arm active recently.

Garrity, who was working out with the Cathedral football team Tuesday afternoon, said he planned to do long toss with former Green Wave pitcher Caleb Upton following Tuesday’s workouts. The extra time spent building up his arm strength should pay dividends when Garrity pitches for the Hogs later this week, he said.

“Football exercise are almost all stretching and elongating your muscles,” Garrity said. “It helps with my speed and movement. Lifting weights also helps. I’ve actually added a few ticks to my fastball. I was throwing in the upper 70s (during the season), and now I’m sitting 82, 83.”

James McMahon and Paxton King, who play for the Southern Mississippi baseball team, coach the Hogs. Other than that, Garrity said he doesn’t know much about the Hogs.

“I looked at their stats, and they looked pretty good,” Garrity said. “They beat some pretty substantial teams in Mississippi.”

With the Hogs having so much success, Garrity said he was pleased to have been selected.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Garrity said. “This team asked me to pitch and come in strictly for the World Series. That’s a pretty big platform. As a 15-year-old, it feels really good.”

But since he doesn’t know any of the players yet, Garrity said there would be some nervousness mixed in with the excitement.

“After that first inning, I think I’ll settle in,” Garrity said. “With it being a new team and a bunch of players I haven’t met, I’ll probably be a little bit nervous.”

That hasn’t stopped Garrity from having confidence in his pitching arsenal, though.

“I’ve played Elite Ball, which is for college recruiting, and the people who have talked to me have said I’ve done well,” Garrity said.

His two performances for Elite Ball consisted of a no-hitter and a one-hitter, both shutouts, Garrity said.

“I feel confident, but there is that little voice inside my head that still has a little bit of doubt,” Garrity said. “It says that I had better step up.”

The Hogs open up at 9 a.m. Thursday against the Diamond Cutters from Louisiana. They will play at Robertsdale High School in Robertsdale, Ala.