Howard Pittsley always new his son was good enough to play baseball at the next level, and so did Wildcat baseball star Aaron Pittsley, but a string of injuries including knee surgery kept him off the field much of his sophomore and junior years. After finally getting an injury-free and very successful senior season under his belt, Aaron Pittsley now hopes to one day be "over a knife" in stead of under one.
The Richmond Hill graduate has been accepted to play baseball for Brewton Parker College in Mt. Vernon Georgia and plans on not only playing baseball for the Barons but also getting a bachelor degree in biology out of the way as a stepping stone to medical school and hopefully a successful career as an orthopedic surgeon. All it took for the talented outfielder to get the opportunity was a chance to show off his skills.
"Because I was always injured and didn’t really have any stats or any attention until my senior year, we had to look around for tryouts to go to," said Pittsley on the process that led him to a tryout at the small south Georgia school. After the one-day workout, Baron coach Andrew Gernatt saw what Pittsley’s high school coaches and Wildcat fans had come to expect this past season.
Pittsley, who finished his senior year as the left hand hitting right fielder for the Wildcats hit for an impressive .429 batting average, had a .567 on base percentage, scored 22 runs and drove in 20 runs. While the Baron coaching staff were impressed by Aaron’s stats, they were equally impressed at see him in action.
"The coaches liked my swing and my ability to hit the ball to all fields," said Pittsley on the hitting portion of his tryout. The coaches also liked his fielding, his speed, and his range in the outfield and wasted no time in offering him a position on the team.
Brewton Parker, a small private Baptist college near Vidalia, plays in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and is part of the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) with such teams as Shorter, Berry and Reinhardt College. Pittsley’s former teammate Cameron Corbin will now play against him at Reinhardt College and the two recently joined the ranks of four Wildcat Graduates to play at the next level. Scott Strickland, Augusta State, and Matthew Schlag, North Georgia, are the other two.
The four signers have set a new precedent for head coach Mitchell Curry and his Wildcat baseball program, one he is extremely proud of and speaks highly of - and one that will pay future benefits for setting players goals. Pittsley thinks Brewton Parker is the right fit for him.
"It is a smaller school but has a very nice campus, and I think the transition from high school will be made easier by its’ size," commented Pittsley who boasted a 3.4 GPA during his high school career and will use a combination of his Hope and athletic scholarship to pay for tuition. "I think my parents are excited that I am getting a chance to play."
Howard and Tammie Pittsley are most proud of their son’s attitude throughout his life and especially the way he overcame the early injury adversities without quitting.
"I think this is a great step for him," said Howard Pittsley. "He has a good attitude and Aaron understands that the most important part is his education ... baseball is just the icing on the cake."