Munford High pitcher Balfour Roe was getting some attention from college coaches heading into his senior season.
As we know now, COVID-19 wiped out all but the first week of the 2020 season, which made recruiting much more challenging.
It all worked out well for Roe, though.
In front of 25 or so friends, teammates, coaches and family members on Thursday afternoon at his home, Roe signed a baseball scholarship with Bethel University, an NAIA school in McKenzie, Tenn.
“I was kind of worried,” Roe said. “I did have a few other college colleges looking at me that kind of bailed out because they didn’t get to look at me my senior year. I’m just glad to get to play at the next level.”
Roe has a unique pitching style. The 6-2, 190-pounder pitches side arm, something that is pretty rare at any level.
“It was something I was just fooling around with in the eighth grade,” Roe said. “It gave a lot of movement to my ball. I started doing it here and there in games and eventually switched to it totally.”
When Yount put eyes on Roe for the first time, he envisioned a pitcher coming over the top and using his height as an advantage.
“But I don’t think he was comfortable there (overhand) so we just left him down there,” Yount said. “He had to do a lot of work to stay in the strike zone and develop some other pitches, and he did. He put the work in, went and played in the summer and threw against good competition.”
Roe was used primarily as a relief pitcher early in his career before becoming a starter his senior year. He struck out five and allowed three hits in three innings in the season-opener against Houston and held Christian Brothers to one hit over two innings a week later in what ended up being the last game of the season.
“I’m happy for him,” Yount said. “He loves the game. He’s a great kid and a Christian kid. I’m just happy he’s getting to play at the next level after missing his senior season. Hopefully the best is yet to come.”