Ethan Greene has made a verbal commitment to play baseball at Pfeiffer University, a Division II school in Misenheimer, N.C., and a member of Conference Carolinas, next fall. A two-sport athlete at Watauga High, Greene has excelled on the playing field. The senior is coming off an all-conference campaign in football, and he's raised
his game a notch on the baseball diamond this spring. Greene, who was 4-3 with a 2.88 earned-run-average last season, is currently 1-0 and he was masterful in WHS's season-opening win against A.C. Reynolds Tuesday night.
The right-hander went five innings, gave up a bloop single and struck out ten as the Pioneers crushed the Rockets 10-0 in Asheville. And he's scheduled to pitch against Ardrey Kell (weather permitting), the No.2 team in the state in Class 4A on Saturday.
"I just want to keep the ball down, and I want to throw strikes," he said. "I also want to keep my pitch count down. I only threw (41) pitches in my last outing, and I got my defense involved."
"I want Greenie to be the ace of our staff" said WHS coach Pete Hardee. "He throws strikes, and he's consistent. He's really matured as a pitcher."
Greene really came on last year for the Pioneers. He nailed down WHS's first Northwestern 3A/4A Conference tournament championship in 11 years (2000) by picking up the save in the title game last May against South Caldwell. Greene struck out Josh Murphy with the tying run at third in the finals. He also threw a gem against Alexander Central in the semifinal round. Those efforts handed Greene the Most Valuable Player Award in the tournament.
"I just want to have a good senior year," he said. "(Former WHS teammate) Dylan (Norris) invited me down and I checked out the school. I really like Pfieffer, and I really like the guys on their team. They have a family atmopshere and coach (Mark) Hayes is a South Caldwell guy, so he knows about our program here at Watauga. I hope to sign with them soon.
"I love baseball and I'm glad to be playing it at the next level. But for now, I have to focus on the season ahead. I can't be the nice guy on the mound, and I can't let guys get comfortable at the plate. I have to be ready for any challenge that comes my way. And I have to fill any role my team needs me to be in for us to win."
Greene excelled on the WHS football team last season. He completed 53% of his passes last fall, he threw for 1,294 yards and nine touchdowns. Greene was also second on the team in rushing behind Kyle Chambers and ran for five touchdowns.