PILOT MOUNTAIN — High school athletes across the nation are making headlines this week by committing to continue their athletic careers. It’s not only a great honor for the players, but the community at-large who see the hard work of a local athlete show dividends.
One of the hometown heroes making his mark on the baseball world is East Surry pitcher/third baseman Kain Kiser. Kiser signed his National Letter of Intent Wednesday and will continue his playing career at Lenoir-Rhyne University.
“Kain has put in a tremendous amount of work over the years,” East Surry coach Chad Freeman said. “We brought him up as a sophomore because we had a need for another pitcher and he performed beyond what we were expecting.”
Kiser received All-Conference honors his sophomore year, boasting 11 pitching appearances, 54 strikeouts, and even a shutout. Kiser’s statistics were skewed his junior year due to an injury, but he didn’t let that stop him from having a strong year.
“He suffered an arm injury early in the season which limited the amount of pitching he was able to do,” Freeman said. “When he got back about halfway or so through the season, he picked up right where he left off and ended up having a solid year for us.”
On the mound, Kiser led the Cardinals with a 0.58 ERA and was second in wins with five. During his time off the mound, the then-junior led East Surry in doubles (10) and had the second-highest RBI total (23). Adding in his .313 batting average, Kiser’s stats were enough to be named to the All-Conference squad once again. Kiser was also selected for the 2017 Region 7 State Games team.
With two years of varsity play under his belt, Kiser still has his senior year left before making the jump to collegiate baseball. Following a second-round upset in the state playoffs, Freeman expects Kiser to help the team in its pursuit of redemption.
“We are very hopeful for our upcoming year, and Kain is going to be a big part of that,” Freeman said. “He’s going to college as a pitcher but he does a lot for us. He’s also a tremendous third baseman when he isn’t pitching and he’s one of our better hitters.”
Fall workouts for Cardinal baseball recently concluded and will resume in January 2018.
“Our goal is always to compete for a conference championship, compete for a deep state playoff run and put ourselves in a position to be as successful as possible,” Freeman said.
Reach Cory on Twitter @MrCoryLeeSmith