Andrew Obelgoner was looking for a team.
The former Mount de Sales standout had just finished his high school baseball career and wanted to continue playing the game he loved. That’s when the Macon Giants came into the picture.
He saw an advertisement about the team on a Monday, e-mailed the Great South League president, and by the end of that week he had tried out for head coach Jay Cranford and was added to the roster.
And 16 games into the season, Obelgoner, the second youngest player on the team, has become a key ingredient on an excellent pitching staff that has kept the Giants in a good number of games.
“It has turned out to be a great fit for me,” Obelgoner said. “I was looking for somewhere to play to gain some exposure for college and a chance to play against great competition. The Great South League has given me that chance. I am pitching against elite college players, and I am gaining valuable experience every time out. We have not been real successful on the field so far, but the season is still young, and we have a lot of talented guys in the locker room. Everyone has been able to get along, and it is really a good atmosphere.”
Obelgoner has held his own. After starting the year in relief, Obelgoner made his first start two weeks ago and pitched no-hit baseball for 5-2/3 innings. He has pitched in six games so far this year and has given up earned runs in only one of those games.
“He has been better than expected,” Cranford said. “We knew that he was a young kid with really no experience at this level, but we could also see loads of potential. We gave him a chance early, and he has taken advantage of his opportunities. He is a very talented young man but just as important, he is just a great young man.”
Obelgoner, who mixes an 88-to-90 mph fastball with a slider, change-up and splitter, is looking to play college baseball but currently has no offers.
“I had a couple of opportunities fall through,” Obelgoner said. “I am hoping that if I continue to throw well here that something will open up. I believe that I can go where I need to go with the stuff I have. I just feel like I need a chance. Pitching for Macon has given me more confidence in my ability. I am just looking for some exposure.”
Obelgoner, 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, will look to add some more weight to his body and more speed to his fastball if he does not sign. He says giving up on his dream is not in his immediate plans.
“I will find somewhere to play in a fall league and keep trying to get better,” Obelgoner said. “It has been a dream of mine for a long time to play college baseball, and I am definitely not close to giving up.”
Cranford sees potential in Obelgoner.
“Andrew can definitely pitch in college.” Cranford said. “He has consistently been able to get college hitters out all summer. All he needs is the chance. I think he could be a real find for someone. We are working hard to find him a college to play at next year. I have no doubt things will work out for Andrew.”