CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- South Charleston's Jonathan Cline admits he had hoped for an earlier start to his varsity baseball career, but one area that hasn't showed the effects of being a late bloomer is his defense.
Better late than never.
At 11:15 a.m. today in the school's piazza, he will sign his letter of intent to join Coach Cal Bailey and the West Virginia State University program.
Cline carries a level of confidence that subdues opponents and a reckless regard for his body that keeps almost every errant pitch in front of him.
George Washington Coach Chad Campbell, shortly before the start of Thursday's game against the Black Eagles, briefed his team on Cline's credentials.
"Remember, (Cline) will throw to every base," Campbell was overheard telling his squad, adding that they have to keep on their toes.
"I can't handle it when I see guys on first or second and all I can think about is, 'I have to block it,' " he said. "If they get into scoring position and score, that eats me alive the whole game. When it happens, I keep a tough mindset, but I have to make sure I don't let anything by me because that's my job.
"I've done well throwing guys out this year, I've done well blocking balls. As far as defensively, I'm very satisfied with my season."
Cline has five passed balls, has thrown out 46 percent of potential base-stealers (18-39) and has a .981 fielding percentage.
His defensive prowess is what gets the attention, which sometimes makes offense an overlooked part of his game.