Southern Lee pitcher signs with Surry C.C.

May. 03, 2013 @ 05:01 AM

Southern Lee pitcher Caleb Gaster worked hard on the diamond for years to get to Thursday afternoon and signing a letter of intent to play baseball at the college level. Gaster accepted a scholarship offer from Surry Community College as family, coaches, teammates and friends joined him for the signing.

It wasn’t until fairly recently, and actually during the offseason, at least the offseason of the high school baseball season, when Gaster made the most progress toward that goal.

“Caleb pitched great during the summer for us last year,” said Southern Lee head coach David Miller, “and that success helped his confidence a lot I think and it put him in position for a really good spring.”

This spring, as the Cavaliers (19-5, 10-2) have won the Cape Fear Valley co-championship and locked up a state tournament berth, Gaster has pitched in eight games, pitching two shutouts with a 3-0 record and a 1.98 ERA.

“He’s a pitcher who can control both sides of the plate. He throws three pitches for strikes. He might not be the hardest thrower, but he’s effective, he gets people out, which is what the game of baseball’s about,” Miller said.

Gaster thanked God, family, friends, coaches and fans before making the signing official.

“I’ve always wanted to play college baseball, and this door opened up,” he said. “I love the school, and the baseball program, and the coaches are great.”

“Caleb’s always worked hard,” Miller said, “and it just makes a coach happy and proud when someone who puts in the time and effort gets this kind of opportunity.”

While addressing everyone, including his varsity squad, gathered in the library before Gaster put pen to paper, Miller congratulated his senior and made a brief pep talk, probably since the Cavs had the start of the Cape Fear Valley Conference Tournament in a few hours.

“This is a big accomplishment for Caleb and his family,” he said. “Caleb set out a long time ago with this goal, so this is the result of a lot of hours, a lot of games, a lot of practices, and to see it come to fruition is exciting.

“But you’ve still got some things to do before you go,” Miller said.