Upcoming pitcher and catcher clinic signals spring
It's strange while in the midst of basketball season and watching the NFL playoffs but big league pitchers and catchers will be reporting to Florida and Arizona in a little over a month.
Local pitchers and catchers will be in action in only a few weeks, with the high school season about six weeks from opening day.
Local coaches, with help from some guys who will be reporting for Spring Training, are running and offering the First Annual Winter Pitching and Catching Clinic at Pinecrest High School Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 2-3.
Lee County head coach Charlie Spivey and Pinecrest head coach Jeff Hewitt are two of the coaches who will be instructing youngsters, from ages 9 to high school senior.
Pitching and catching mechanics and fundamentals will be part of the two-day camp. The smarts it takes to be good battery mates will be a big part of the instruction, too.
"How to compete like a big leaguer" will be one segment of the clinic. The instructors will talking and teaching about the "mental approach" to both positions alongside coaching up the physical skills.
"Instruction is oriented for the serious player interested in improving their baseball skill set yet tailored to players across all ability levels," says the camp brochure.
Former all-state Pinecrest pitcher Seth Maness, who will be headed to St. Louis Cardinal later in February, will be an instructor. Maness is the all-time wins leader in East Carolina program history.
Maness was the Cardinal organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2012 while he pitched for double-A Springfield (Mo.) in the Texas League.
Maness will be coaching alongside his former Patriot coach, Hewitt, and Patriot pitching coach, James Baldwin.
Baldwin is a Pinecrest alum who went on to a 16-year professional pitching career, including 11 years in the majors with the White Sox, Dodgers, Seattle, Minnesota, Mets, Texas and Baltimore.
The clinic will go from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2, then 1-4 on Sunday afternoon. The registration cost is $110 per player with a discount for players on teams which bring five or more campers.
Campers can sign up at The Hack Shack, at 2066 Juniper Lake Rd., West End. Anyone with questions can call Hewitt at (910) 585-0853.