Athlete of the Week: Laity delivers for 4S Ranch Little League
By Michael Bower
A fractured growth plate in the elbow in 2011 and tendinitis throughout most of 2012 kept Spencer Laity off the pitcher’s mound for the majority of the last two Little League seasons.
But the 14-year-old, right-hander was determined not to give up on what he loves to do most and now he is back throwing gems for the 4S Ranch Little League Juniors All-Star team.
“I was still hitting and playing first base, but it was really hard because I wanted to pitch,” said Laity, who did not pitch until the very end of the regular season this year. “I had to hold myself back.”
Laity tossed his longest outing last week, since experiencing tendinitis in the biceps, shoulder and left hip in April.
He went five-plus innings and allowed only two earned runs last Monday in 4S Ranch’s 13-10 victory over Escondido National.
Laity then came back last Saturday to throw another three innings against Del Mar, closing the door on a 9-2 victory and sending 4S Ranch into the District 31 Juniors All-Stars Championship game.
It was quite a feat considering 4S Ranch had lost to Del Mar 11-1 in the opening game of the tournament.
“We did what they did to us in the first game,” Laity said. “We jumped on top early and really gained a lot of confidence.”
The 5-foot, 9-inch Laity also hits third in the lineup for 4S Ranch. Through last Monday, he is 5-for-12 at the plate and leads the team in hitting.
For his efforts, Laity is the I-15 Voices Athlete of the Week.
“I first started coaching Spencer in 2005,” 4S Ranch all-star coach Tim Rogers said. “He was pretty good, but not great. He has worked really hard at it and in 2010 he was definitely one of the better players in our league.”
Laity says he is still not completely healthy, but at about 90 percent. He is making sure to slowly work his way back to full strength so he avoids injury.
“I am taking the time to make sure it heals,” said Laity, who will be a freshman at Del Norte High School in the fall, where he plans to play for the baseball team. “I don’t want to hurt myself again and be put in that situation again where I cannot pitch.”
Laity features an above-average fastball and a solid changeup. He really had them both working all of last week.
“He was really hitting his spots and mixing his pitches up,” Rogers said. “He was keeping the batters off balance.”
Laity is not the loud leader type, but he has all of the qualities any coach would want in a player on their team.
“He is a quiet leader,” Rogers said. “He sets a good example and does all the things he needs to do. He is very mature for his age and has always been polite and a great teammate.”
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- Little League All-Stars: Poway little leagues shine in District 31 All-Star Tournament
- Little League All-Stars: Local all-star teams announced
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