Senior Sam Grace is One of the Top Pitchers in the State of Missouri


Credit to Jordan Milewczik

Senior Sam Grace throws on the mound at Francis Howell North.

By Claire Huss

Thirteen years ago, senior Sam Grace found a passion for baseball that has taken him farther than he ever expected throughout his baseball career. According to Prep Baseball Report, Grace is ranked the eleventh pitcher in the state of Missouri right now, pitching a 94 mph fastball. Most high school pitchers pitch mid to low 80s. On average, major league baseball players pitch between 95 mph to 105 mph fastballs.

“I think Sam can go as far as he wants to go with baseball,” Mike Freedline, varsity assistant baseball coach, said. “I think he can make it to the big leagues with his arm. He is very dedicated to the sport.”

When Grace was young, he started playing with recreational baseball teams to try it out. He soon fell in love with the sport. As he got older, he started to play on higher competition teams like the Mizuno Eagles and the Rawling Tigers.

“I have played baseball with Sam for five years,” senior Jeffery Cox said. “He is always enthusiastic about the game, and he is always getting us pumped up for the games and make sure we are keeping a positive attitude.”

Grace has been on the varsity baseball team at FHN since sophomore year. Grace also played for the Rawlings Tigers until junior year.

“My best game in high school was against Howell Central my sophomore year, and I threw a complete game shutout,” Grace said.

Last high school baseball season, Grace had a strained flexor tendon in his middle finger that set him out most of the season.

“This set me back mentally and physically because it kept me from practicing in the offseason and getting better,” Grace said.

Grace finds baseball a mental game. Over the years he has developed more self-confidence in his pitching. During the high school season Grace will go to the practices or games and then will go to Premier Pitching and Performance to lift weights or to focus on some recovery so his body will feel better in the following days.

“Sam has been getting stronger and more mature every year,” Freedline said. “He has been developing pitching skills and learning how to pitch rather than just throw.”

Grace has committed to play Division 1 baseball at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. He chose this school because they have a good pitching program that will further his pitching development. Grace is excited to pursue his passion of baseball at SIU because they offered him the best academic and athletic scholarship. Grace wants to make it to the best of his ability, but his goal is to be a professional baseball player.

“My family and coaches have inspired me because they have pushed me to be better and support me in everything I do,” Grace said.