It all started during his sophomore year. Tyler Hollingsworth got the call to start and more than held his own. From there, he knew he belonged at the high school level.
Now he’ll get the chance to show if he can survive the college grind.
Hollingworth, named District 6AAA pitcher of the year after a 7-2 campaign, signed Wednesday to continue his career at Martin Methodist. He’ll hope to make an immediate impact in the Redhawks rotation, which will be losing former Pioneer Logan Underhill to graduation.
“The school really reminded me a lot of Warren County,” said Hollingworth on picking the Redhawks. “It’s a small town, small school. I think they’ll have hands-on teaching.”
The righty seemed to put himself on the college radar throughout his senior season, especially when Hollingworth started going pitch-for-pitch with some of the best arms in the state.
Hollingsworth carried a miniscule 0.76 ERA in seven district starts during the season, including a personal highlight when he threw a complete-game, four-hitter to beat Cookeville and Belmont-bound Joshua South.
“This whole year was a highlight, especially being named pitcher of the year,” said Hollingsworth. “It was great to pitch well against Cookeville.”
First-year coach Trice Powers walked into Warren County with a ready-made No. 1 starter. Powers never worried about Hollingworth, someone the new coach believes will be a great ambassador of the Pioneer program.
“This is pretty special. He’s my first kid to sign,” said Powers. “It’s a good team thing, a good program thing and special for us. But it’s all about Tyler. He’s a great, hard-working kid.
“This shows the individual desire and effort he has for the game. He should be proud of himself.”
The Redhawks finished 16-27 this season while competing in the Southern States Athletic Conference. Hollingworth plans on majoring in business and education, with hopes of being a coach someday.
But before he starts making calls from the dugout, he’ll continue answering the call on the mound.