Congratulations to Kyle Pittman of Hunt High School, who was presented with WRAL-TV's "Extra Effort Award" by the legendary Tom Suiter on Tuesday.
Kyle was a standout on the football field in the fall and has been a standout behind the plate for the Warriors baseball team this spring. But mostly, he's been a star in the classroom since he came to Hunt.
Make sure you watch all the way to the end of the segment because the WRAL cameraman takes one for the team. Positioned behind the mound to get some good shots of Kyle throwing the ball to second base, the cameraman (whose name I do not have) caught one of Kyle's strong tosses atop his noggin. The poor fellow was knocked out and required emergency medical attention but, as you can see on the WRAL segment, he is OK now.
Considering all that happened to Kyle on Tuesday, one might think he might not be completely focused when the Warriors hit the field at Southern Nash for a 3-A Big East Conference game Tuesday night. One might be wrong if one thought that.
All Kyle did Tuesday night in Hunt's 24-1 win was hit three home runs, including — get this — two grand slams in the same inning! And he did it off a pretty good pitcher in Kyle Shields, who started for the Wilson American Legion team last summer and has signed with NCAA Division II upper-echelon program Francis Marion (S.C.) University.
On the night, Pittman finished with 10 RBIs — one short of a state record — as he went 4 for 5, including a double. Inexplicably, he struck out in his first at-bat. The two grannies in the same inning and game tied a state record, the former held by five other players including Southern Nash assistant coach Ricky Howard who accomplished the feat with the Firebirds in 2002.
Short of Anthony Atkinson scoring 10 points in 45 seconds and nearly single-handedly winning the Div. II national championship for the Barton College men's basketball team in 2007, Pittman's day ranks as the best I've heard of a Wilson County athlete have in my six years on the job.