BASEBALL: A Devil of a Good Time Awaits Bonita’s McCreery

September 2, 2010
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Adam McCreery throws the ball and his big frame at a batter.

Adam McCreery throws the ball and his big frame at a batter.

To the list of Barry Bonds, Reggie Jackson and Andre Ethier, prepare to add one more — Adam McCreery, a senior left-handed pitcher for Bonita High School. Bonds, Jackson, and Ethier were all Sun Devils who played for Arizona State before going on to great careers in Major League Baseball.

McCreery, who went 8-2 in his junior year at Bonita, including 2-1 in the CIF playoffs, signed his letter of intent to play with Arizona State earlier this week. His selection was notable for a couple of reasons. ASU leads all schools with 368 picks in the Major League Baseball draft, including Rick Monday, the first pick ever in the MLB draft in 1965. ASU also has the third most alumni to put on a Major League uniform.

At 6-foot-8 and 200 pounds, neither McCreery nor his talents could remain hidden long. Bonita Coach John Knott showcased McCreery early in the 2010 CIF baseball season, giving his big lefthander the ball in the opener against Ayala, and he only improved from there, giving Bonita three reliable, front-line starters, including seniors Brian Tuttle and Josh Yepez, who took the Bearcats to the CIF finals.

Ironically, McCreery was on the hill for one inning of Bonita’s Glendora tournament debacle against Claremont, allowing seven earned runs on three walks, three hits, one hit batter and one wild pitch. Only hours earlier, McCreery had been home in bed, battling a sinus infection, but he, being new to the team, suited up and was called into the game when the Bearcats had few other options. After that loss, Bonita reeled off 12 straight victories, including McCreery’s complete-game, nine-strike-out win over arch-nemesis Northview 2-1.

If you throw out McCreery’s one-inning aberration against Claremont, he would have completed the season with a 1.60 ERA instead of his season-ending 2.35 ERA.

After Bonita’s CIF run finished, the Bonita southpaw really began to stir interest among college coaches. Over the summer he played for the So Cal Bombers 18U travel team. He also made the Milwaukee Brewers Blue team as part of the Area Code games. Over five games, he pitched a total of three innings, showcasing his fastball, which topped out at about 88-89 mph, and his curve, slider and change.

At that point, college coaches never stopped calling the McCreery house. As a result, Adam and his family visited the campuses of UC Santa Barbara, Loyola Marymount, San Diego State, UC Irvine, Cal State Fullerton, Oregon State, University of Oregon and Arizona State. He also received calls and spoke with coaches from USC, UCLA, Long Beach State, UC Davis, New Mexico State, UNLV, the University of San Diego, UC Riverside, Santa Clara University and the University of Arizona.

In the end, the tradition of Bonds, Jackson and Ethier won out. Fortunately, for Bonita fans, however, McCreery will be a Bearcat for one more season.

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