JACKSON County’s Andrew Fogarty figured his baseball career was over after this year as he was set to attend the University of Georgia as a non-athlete.
Then, he threw a complete game against no. 6 Blessed Trinity May 2 in the state playoffs – very nearly picking up the victory — and that’s when things changed.
“There was just something in my gut after that Blessed Trinity game,” Fogarty said. “I was like ‘I’m not ready to hang it up.’”
And Fogarty won’t be hanging it up, signing this past week with Truett-McConnell.
“It’s a blessing,” Fogarty said. “I’ve got to take advantage of this. I’m going to get ready, and I’m going to work hard.”
Fogarty actually worked out in front of Bears’ coaches back during the fall, but that’s as far as it went. Then teammate Patrick Overstreet signed with Truett-McConnell last week, opening up conversation between Fogarty and the Bears again. He visited the campus the following day, and Truett-McConnell made him an offer.
“One thing led to the next, and I started talking with Andrew,” Bears’ coach Mike Croley said at Fogarty’s signing ceremony. “He kind of said he was still interested in playing, and we liked Andrew as a player.”
Fogarty said having a teammate playing there next year was a bonus.
“It’s going to be pretty exciting to play with somebody I’ve been playing with this past year,” Fogarty said. “It’s going to be really fun.”
Fogarty’s highlights this year include earning a victory over Pike County (which eventually rose to no. 1 in the state) and shutting down Blessed Trinity in the postseason.
Fogarty, who has a younger brother (Stephen) still in the program, has been a mainstay for Panther baseball coach Tommy Fountain. Fogarty began playing in the Panthers’ middle school program the year that the coach arrived at Jackson County.
Fountain said Fogarty really dedicated himself to getting better following his junior season.
“He kind of had a renewed focus in the offseason on baseball,” Fountain said. “This is the first year he’s done that year-round and it’s kind of paid dividends.”
Fountain noted that Fogarty increased his velocity from 76 mph to 82-83 this year. Offensively, “his numbers just shot through the roof.”
A spot on the Bears’ pitching staff isn’t out of the question if Fogarty can continue to increase his velocity. But for now, he will be a position player at Truett-McConnell.
“Right now, it looks like I’ll probably be fitting in in the outfield,” Fogarty said.