Every Thursday, the 13WMAZ Sports team turns their spotlight on a central Georgia student-athlete who shines on and off of their field of play. This week, meet a baseball player who is striking batters out on the diamond and hitting home runs in the classroom. His name is Matt Blair
Blair has been a part of two Tattnall baseball teams that have finished on top as state champions, and this year, the senior is on top again, this time from the mound as one of the best arms in the Trojans' rotation.
Joey Hiller: "He's just been awesome for us this year," Tattnall head coach Joey Hiller said. "It's finally become his time to do his thing for us. He's iust taking complete advantage of his opportunities."
The righty has been dealing the entire season. He has struck out 86 batters and maintained a 1.32 ERA.
Matt Blair: "(What helps me is) just not being scared to throw strikes because I know I have a great defense behind me, try to minimize the walks, and throw a lot of strikes," Blair said.
He has quite the arsenal on the mound. He can hit the upper 80's with his fastball, but his favorite pitch to throw is his slider.
"They say it's unfair," Blair said. "They call it 'the sauce,' they say it's unhittable and I just love to throw it."
Mixing his pitches has clearly helped him succeed on the mound compiling a 9-1 record, but Blair is also winning in the bigger matchups, his academics.
"You know that Matt is mature enough to take care of his business in the classroom, you just don't ever have to worry about it," Hiller said. "I hope it rubs off on all of our underclassmen."
He carries 3.6 GPA, and has just recently decided to pursue his college degree at Mercer.
"College athletics was never really a first priority, but getting into a really good academic college was," Blair said. "I got into Mercer and ended up getting a spot on the baseball team and it all worked out."
So it looks like Blair will still bring the sauce on the mound and in the books for some time.
Blair says he plans to study business and would love to work in the front office for a Major League Baseball franchise. The Trojans are looking to defend their state championship as they play in the second round against George Walton Academy.