Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Thursday night's College World Series game is a big one for the Gamecocks - and for their likely starting pitcher: freshman Jordan Montgomery.
"Jordan is just another typical kid who grows up wanting to be a major league baseball player," explains his high school coach, Brooks Shumake.
But what's not typical is how far Montgomery has come toward that dream. The freshman pitcher is starting in a College World Series game, a game that could send the Gamecocks home. "Jordan seems to be a guy that's not afraid of big stages," says Shumake, "He doesn't really see things with too much grandiosity to them. So he's the type of player who just loves to play and compete in whatever situation he finds himself in at that time."
Shumake was Montgomery's coach at Sumter High School. helping him and fellow Gamecock pitcher Matt Price with their batting. But he says the throwing skills came from another Sumter High coach.
"Joe Norris really deserves a lot of the credit for really developing and nurturing those two young men to becoming the type of pitchers that they are today," he says, adding with a laugh, "Those guys went on to become primarily pitchers, so maybe Coach Norris did a better job than I did."
But on the pitcher's mound Tuesday, it's up to Montgomery keep up the good work - with folks in Sumter, the Midlands and even the nation behind him.
Not too bad for a guy that's only one year into his college career.
"He was just a typical kid who dreams that big and now it appears that some of his dreams are coming true," says Shumake, "Baseball is a great game because it's so unpredictable in a lot of ways."