Garner pitcher will compete on American Idol

Staff WriterFebruary 1, 2011 

Garner High's baseball team could be without one of its pitchers this spring, depending upon how much "American Idol" voters like Scotty McCreery and his deep singing voice.

McCreery's audition in Minneapolis in front of Idol judges Stephen Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson was telecast last week. The reality television show featured an interview with him and shots from around Garner, including a workout at the Garner baseball field and comments by Garner baseball coach Derek Goffena.

McCreery impressed the judges with his rendition of "Your Man" and "Put Some Drive in Your Country" and advanced to the next round. The panel of judges pick the contestants in the early rounds, but television viewers vote for their favorites later during the season.

McCreery, a junior, has been an outstanding pitcher on the Trojans' junior varsity for the past two seasons. He was 4-0 with a 3.20 earned run average as a freshman and 6-1 with a 1.04 ERA last year. In his last start in the summer league, he threw a complete-game shutout against Fuquay-Varina.

Goffena said he doesn't know how McCreery's participation in the talent competition will affect his baseball season.

"We don't know his schedule," Goffena said. "Scotty doesn't know. But Scotty is great guy. He is very involved in school and is a kid that you want to be in your program because you know that he is never going to let you down.

"We're all supporting him."

Goffena said filming the feature on McCreery was quite an experience.

"I've been on national television before, when I played baseball at Georgia Tech and we were on ESPN," Goffena said. "I never thought I'd be on 'American Idol.' "

tim.stevens@newsobserver.com or 919-829-8910

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