• 45°

Prep Baseball: Chase Jarrett signs with Brunswick CC

GRANITE QUARRY — East Rowan’s Chase Jarrett stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 235 pounds, and a frame that large on a high school kid naturally creates large expectations.
Jarrett was only pretty good as a junior, but obviously there are a lot of people who believe he can succeed as a pitcher at the college level. He’s an early signee based on future potential more than past stats.
Jarrett, a right-hander, signed with Brunswick Community College. It’s a two-year school on the coast between Wilmington and Myrtle Beach, near where the Jarretts take vacations at Ocean Isle, so location is definitely a plus. It’s not like Jarrett, who is a good student, is packing his bags for snowy South Dakota.
“Chase is progressing along,” East coach Brian Hightower said. “There were quite a few schools interested in him, but he wanted to go ahead and sign with Brunswick early. He wants to see what he can do.”
East enters the 2014 season with a proven ace in Connor Johnson. The No. 2 starting pitcher — Jarrett, Harrison Bell or Joseph Peeler — is going to be equally important because East is part of the South Piedmont Conference now.
In the SPC, teams play each other back-to-back in the same week, Tuesday and Friday, which means teams will have to use two different starters. There were a lot of years when East ruled local baseball and had to face everybody’s ace pitcher twice in a course of the season.
“I’m all for this schedule,” Hightower said. “I’ve been in favor of back-to-back scheduling for years. I think every conference in the state should do it.”
Jarrett had his moments as a junior — 10 strikeouts in a five-inning shutout of Statesville, eight strikeouts in five innings against a Mount Pleasant team with some power bats, and nine strikeouts in four innings against South Rowan at Staton Field in a key league game.
Those were his three mound wins in a 3-4 season that he finished with three cracked ribs. The rib injury prevented him from competing in American Legion ball last summer, but he plans to play this year.
“That South win is the one I probably will never forget,” Jarrett said. “Because of how big a game it was and because of how wet the weather was. We went through 60 bags of Turface that night.”
Jarrett went through South hitters as fast as the Mustangs went through field-drying Turface. East won 5-1.
Jarrett had 45 strikeouts in 34 1/3 innings last season, which is good, but he also walked 18. The keys for Jarrett are the same keys for most pitchers — locate the fastball, hit spots, get ahead in the count.
“If I get behind, I do tend to walk too many,” Jarrett said. “But I’ve got a good curveball that I’ve worked hard to get where I want it. If I can pitch ahead, I can a lot of outs with the curve.”
Jarrett was recommended to Brunswick coaches by Tomas Cruz, the pitching instructor at the Showcase Baseball Academy in Matthews.Jarrett visited and had a trial-by-fire, pitching against Brunswick hitters in an intrasquad game.
“I pitched three innings and didn’t do bad at all, and then the coach took me to his office and they made an offer,” Jarrett said. “It was a big relief off my shoulders to make a decision about college, and there were a lot of positives with Brunswick. One of them is my brother (Micah, a former Mustang) lives in Wilmington, so I’ll have a little piece of home close by.”
Brunswick is a stout program. Coached by former Clemson shortstop Robbie Allen, the Dolphins have made appearances in the national junior college rankings each of the last four seasons.
Brunswick is getting a pitcher who had an uninspiring 4.69 ERA last season, but reading between the lines, most of the damage against Jarrett came very early in cold-weather games against 4As North Davidson and Providence. Eight earned runs in those two games put Jarret behind the ERA 8-ball, but he was good a lot more often than he was bad after that.
Hightower plans to give Jarrett a chance to swing a bat as the first baseman or DH. He wasn’t scary at the plate last season, batting .267 with four RBIs in 51 at-bats, but he did have one huge outing on a huge stage. Half his RBIs came when East beat Carson 4-1 early in the season.
“Most of us had never been in a game that big, so it was nice to get a clutch hit,” Jarrett said. “We learned a lot last year with a really young team. We’ll be more experienced this time. I expect us to have a solid season.”
Hightower enters the season optimistic that Jarrett will enjoy a breakout as a hurler and possibly as a hitter as well.
“He can be good, and we need him to have a good year for us,” Hightower said.

Comments

Comments closed.

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City

Sports

Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow

Business

Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh

Nation/World

California population declines for first time

News

GOP leaders differ on bottom line for state spending

News

Police: Man killed in shootout with officers in Winston-Salem

Crime

Man charged after thieves rob would-be gun buyers of wallets, shoes

Crime

Blotter: Four added to sheriff’s most wanted list

High School

High school football: Some anxious moments, but Hornets win state title

Local

Photos: Salisbury High Hornets win big in 2AA championship game

Local

County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money

Business

Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury

News

At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’

Coronavirus

COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary

Coronavirus

More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot

Local

City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year

Local

Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days

Crime

Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site

Local

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide

Local

City names downtown recipients for federal Parks Service grant

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs 2021-22 budget priorities, supports buying body cameras