That dream came true last Friday, when Pridemore was offered a scholarship to play baseball for the University of South Carolina. The offer came at the school’s new stadium and Pridemore quickly made his verbal commitment.
“I always dreamed of going to USC,” he said. “I wouldn’t play anywhere else.”
A sophomore, Pridemore is a pitcher and plays third base for the Union County Yellow Jackets. He’s played two years on the varsity team. Last year, he went 3-2 on the mound with a 2.98 ERA and two saves.
Pridemore has played travel ball since he was 10 years old. This summer, he will play for the Carolina Cyclones of Columbia, a new team considered the top rated showcase team in the nation.
Although showcase baseball has helped Pridemore with his game and to get noticed by scouts, it was a high school game that brought him his offer.
Pitching for the Jackets against A.C. Flora in the playoffs, Pridemore went six innings, gave up four hits and just two runs, while recording six strikeouts.
UCHS lost that game, but Pridemore’s pitching made an impression on Gamecock assistant coach Chad Holbrook, one of many scouts in the stands.
Soon Pridemore was touring the Gamecocks’ new stadium and meeting with coach Ray Tanner.
“The facilities are great,” he said. “It’s the top facility in the nation. Everything is new.”
Now the Gamecocks want Pridemore to continue to work hard and improve on his game, keep his grades up and stay out of trouble. If everything works out, Pridemore should be a starting Gamecock pitcher in the near future.
The verbal commitment locks in Pridemore’s spot and he can’t lose his scholarship. He’ll be able to sign his letter of intent in the fall of 2010. He also had an offer on the table from the College of Charleston, but passed it up for the Garnett and Black.
Getting himself in this position took a lot of hard work and sacrifice. Pridemore throws twice a week, runs twice a week and works out every day. He plays showcase baseball every weekend during the summer and it takes him to stadiums all around the southeast.
“I work hard everyday,” he said.
The work has paid off with his pitches. Pridemore’s best pitch is the splitter (78-80 mph). His other pitches are: fastball (87-89 mph), change-up (70-75 mph) and curve ball (69-73 mph).
Last summer, Pridemore had 15 saves and 12 wins, while batting .650 for the Carolina Tar Heels. That team won the Perfect Game National Championship.
Pridemore wants to add a state championship before graduation.
“The Yellow Jackets should be real good next year and have a chance to go to state,” he said.
And ultimately, Pridemore wants to fulfill another dream — playing major league baseball. The Gamecock scholarship has him on the right track.
Pridemore is the son of Robbie and Lesley Pridemore and he’s dedicated this year to his grandfather, Robert, who was diagnosed with cancer.
UCHS Coach Tommy Petty on Alex Pridemore ...
"Alex was moved to varsity as a freshman. He became our closer and did very well. We had Alex play the same role this season (as our closer). Alex did get three starts this year and did very good as a starter. He pitched a complete game shutout against Chapman. With Spencer Rash getting hurt late in the season, Alex stepped up and did a very good job as a starter against AC Flora in the playoffs. Alex is consistently throwing 86-87 mph with a change-up and splitter. He is 6'3" 170 lbs. and still developing. Alex has the potential to be a dominating pitcher as he works in the weight room during the off season. Alex is a real competitor on the mound."