Prep Baseball: Holshouser to Pfeiffer

North Rowan's pitcher, Travis Holshouser, #17.
North Rowan hosted Chattam Central Monday night.
(Photo by: Maria Richardson, Salisbury Post)
North Rowan's pitcher, Travis Holshouser, #17. North Rowan hosted Chattam Central Monday night. (Photo by: Maria Richardson, Salisbury Post)

SPENCER — Travis Holshouser won one game on the mound as a high school senior.

Holshouser will be on the Pfeiffer baseball team next season.

If those two sentences don’t seem to fit together all that well, well, you have to take a closer look at the recent North Rowan graduate’s 2013 season.

Despite a 1-6 record, five of Holshouser’s starts were good or excellent, so he could’ve been 5-2 with better bounces and a little more offensive and defensive support.

North finished a respectable 11-13, but the Cavaliers scored more than four runs only seven times. Holshouser’s 10 RBIs actually tied for second-highest on the team, and he hit the team’s only homer.

“We weren’t great, but Travis kept us in games and gave his team a chance to win a lot of games,” North coach Aaron Rimer said. “He had a rough outing against Carson that hurt his numbers some (3.61 ERA), but even in that game, if we make a few plays behind him, things could go different.”

Holshouser doesn’t have any problem identifying his season highlight. That was the win.

In March, he pitched a gem against a West Montgomery team that was ranked fifth in 1A and the Cavaliers won 3-1 for the 600th victory in school history.

“That game stood out because we won against such a good team,” Holshouser said. “But I did have tough luck in some other games.”

As far as tough-luck efforts, both Albemarle games fit that description. Holshouser struck out 13 Bulldogs in a 5-4 loss in which he pitched into the eighth inning. In the rematch, he lost 4-3 despite not allowing an earned run.

Holshouser’s junior season followed a very similar script. He was 2-4 in 2012 despite throwing 43 innings with a 1.30 ERA.

But that’s all behind him, and the future looks bright.

“Travis has got a pitcher’s body (6-1, 160), and he’ll pick up some pounds and some velocity in college,” Rimer said. “He might redshirt next year, but I think he’s got a great chance to have some success.”

Holshouser has been thinking about Pfeiffer for a while. He visited the school in Misenheimer back in January and threw a bullpen for Pfeiffer coaches. After that, head coach Dusty Blake stayed in contact with Rimer throughout the spring. Holshouser made his college decision — it came down to Pfeiffer or Catawba Valley Community College — earlier this week.

“My parents and I decided Pfeiffer was the best way to go,” Holshouser explained. “It’s close, it’s a really nice school and they have a good baseball program.”

Holshouser’s parents are Jeff and Dawn. Sports fans with gray hair will remember Jeff well. He was an exceptional athlete for North in the 1980s and was a fine pitcher for the Rowan County Legion and the Charlotte 49ers. He also had reasonable success (3-3, 3.12 ERA) in his one minor-league season in the Kansas City Royals organization.

That means Travis has grown up with high expectations from people who know his family history.

“But that’s been a good thing,” Holshouser said. “My dad was my first baseball coach when I was 5 years old, and he’s always taught me a lot. I’ve always looked up to him, and I’ve proud of what he did. I’ve always been proud to say I’m his son.”

Rimer is optimistic that Travis can make a lot of North folks proud over the next few years.

“He’s got some improving to do and some developing to do, but Pfeiffer will let him develop,” Rimer said. “I think this is a win-win for Pfeiffer and for Travis.”

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