Ty Weatherly admitted to some nerves going into his junior season at Howell High School.
But he gradually both adjusted to varsity baseball and stepped up his efforts, finishing the season with a 5-0 record in six starts, including a one-hit shutout and 38 strikcouts in 37 innings to go with three complete games.
He played second base and began to get some at-bats late in the season.
When the Highlanders’ season ended, he kept going while playing for the Legacy Center’s Under-18 team.
“I was still rolling from the high school season,” said Weatherly, who throws right and bats left. “I still had that confidence. I hit really well during the summer and I pitched really well, I thought.”
He certainly wasn’t the only one. Ball State University’s coaching staff began to contact Weatherly over the summer, and on Tuesday, he announced his verbal commitment to play for the Cardinals.
Weatherly will be the third player from the 2017 Highlanders to play at the Division 1 level. His brother Sam, who was last year’s Mr. Baseball, is at Clemson, while Caleb Balgaard is at Indiana. A sister, Tess, played basketball at Northern Michigan.
“It’s good to get this out of the way,” he said, “but I’ve got to keep working. I have to keep going in the weight room and keep working in the classroom. It really kicks off now.”
Weatherly, who is undecided on a major but is leaning toward business, also considered Central Michigan, where his father, Mike, played in college, along with Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Wayne State.
“I really liked the (Ball State) coaches,” he said in a phone conversation Tuesday. “Their coaches are really good guys, they have a solid team and the guys on the team all seem to get along real well. I really liked the campus and the feel of it. I feel I can really succeed there. I hope I can reach my full potential there.”