Jeannette pitcher Elliott has plans for after high school
Garett Elliott, a senior pitcher for the Jayhawks, hopes to continue playing baseball when he reaches the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg in the fall.
Elliott, who has played at most of the positions on the baseball field, is focused mostly this year in three areas —pitching, first base and centerfield.
“I love pitching, but for fielding I don't really care where I am,” said Elliott. “I know I can make an impact on any position. I'm everywhere they need me.”
He got his start in the sport as a young child playing T-ball and on coaches' pitch teams.
“My family as a whole, especially the Elliott side, we're very intense people and intellectual. Baseball is probably the most mentally demanding sport. We're pretty good baseball players.
“We're thinkers, too.”
He enjoys the sport, but he understands that some people find it too slow-paced.
“But, to me, that's the challenge — to stay mentally focused. It can be hard to stay in the game because it is such a slow-paced game. You have to go through scenarios in your mind. That mental part of the game is what I enjoy.”
This year, Elliott played basketball as a way of increasing his conditioning in preparation for baseball season.
His personal goal, and the team's goal, is to win sections and make the playoffs.
“Winning sections would be great,” said Elliott. “We're in one of the toughest sections in the state. Making the playoffs would be great.”
Elliott said this team has some younger players stepping up to the plate when the seniors aren't having their best games and vice versa.
“I think it's the perfect storm. We have nine starters returning from last year and (I've gotten) closer with the younger players.”
He said it's nice to know that if he's having an off day a teammate is there to back him up and he enjoys being the one to pick the team up when he's having a strong day.
“I can be having the most miserable day and then have a baseball game give me the best day.”
Coach Marcus Clarkson has been an influence in Elliott's life for a long time, in fact Clarkson and Elliott's father coached together at one point.
He's been accepted to UPG with a merit scholarship which will pay half his tuition each year as long as he maintains his grades.
His older brother, Brett Elliott, is also a student at UPG who played baseball for the school as a freshman.
Brett Elliott's major required more focus and he stepped away from the baseball field, but he is planning to put in a good word for his younger brother with the team and coach.
Elliott plans to major in mathematics and is considering a career in teaching.
Before he starts at UPG, he's focused on finishing up this season strong.
While the team got off to an undefeated start, Elliott said it's most important to see where they end up.
“We don't settle. We don't expect that this is our best. I think we'll do pretty (well).”
He plans to play Legion baseball this summer and possibly find some summer ball at UPG to continue playing.
“I don't want to stop moving,” said Elliott, with a laugh. “You know what they say, ‘Idle hands are the devil's workshop.'”
Elliott is the son of Melissa and Jeffrey Elliott.
Kristie Linden is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-838-5154.