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There's nothing ‘Hokie' about it
Corning grad to pitch for Va. Tech
He at first thought the question from coach Anthony Ferro was a bit hokey.
The Butte College baseball coach had just asked Tanner McIntyre, a 2009 graduate of Corning High, if he would like to pitch in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).
But it turns out the question was on the up-and-up, and now McIntyre is on his way to becoming a "Hokie."
He is soon off to Blacksburg, Va., where he will take the mound for the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, also known as Virginia Tech, and home of the Hokies.
While McIntyre had just polished off a very successful season for the Roadrunners, going 9-2 with a 2.58 ERA and being named on the All-Northern California team, he admitted the question came out of left field.
"I was at practice doing my regular warm-up routine and Coach Ferro came up to me and asked if I would like to pitch in the ACC. I knew it was a powerhouse conference and I just kind of laughed because I thought he was kidding."
But Ferro was not leaving without a reply.
"Then when he stood there waiting for an answer, I realized he was serious so I said 'yes.' That's when he said to be expecting a call," McIntyre said.
McIntyre made it official by signing a national letter of intent to pitch at the Division I school.
While he shied away from releasing the full details of his scholarship, McIntyre said it's the type of offer that lets him know the school has serious intentions about where he fits into their plans.
"With the size of scholarship they gave me, they told me that they are not bringing me in to be middle relief or to close. They want me to start for them next year, as long as I do what I know I can do on the bump," McIntyre explained.
And it was his "can-do" attitude that impressed the Virginia Tech recruiters.
Not fitting the typical mold of a pitcher at just 5-feet, 10 inches, McIntyre said it was the little something extra he takes to the mound with him.
"Well, as everyone knows, I'm not the tallest pitcher, but they loved that I was a 'bulldog' on the mound and had command of all four of my pitches (fastball, curve, slider and change-up)," McIntyre said. "Also they liked that I could consistently throw my fastball 88-90 mph and go right after guys."
He will pack up for a move to Virginia sometime in August, but is definitely taking a portion of his Butte College days with him.
"Butte was one of the best decisions I have made in my life so far," McIntyre offered. "I struggled my first year there and sort of had an eye-opener and reality check. That's when the coaching staff helped me develop not only as a player but as a person."
He added, "Coach Ferro and Coach Brian Thomas made the biggest impacts on me while I was there."
McIntyre's move takes him one step closer to achieving his dream
"My ultimate goal is just like everyone else's (at the collegiate level) — to go pro — but in order to do that I have to go through obstacles to get there," he said realistically. "I am halfway there and VT is the next stop."
Not putting all his baseballs into one basket, McIntyre plans on majoring in sociology and doing something in the criminal law area. It figures - even when he's not on the mound, he's looking for ways to keep runners from stealing on him.
Contact Craig Purcell at 824-1036 or firstname.lastname@example.org.