Fulmer Wants to Cap Career With a Ring
Sun. May 20, 2012 at 10:35 p.m. | By Polk Preps Staff
All Saints' Academy's Carson Fulmer has a scholarship to Vanderbilt or a career in the majors ahead of him in the future. (Photo by SCOTT WHEELER | THE LEDGER )
By SOLANGE REYNER
LAKELAND | Vanderbilt University awaits his arrival, athletic scholarship on the table.
If he's taken early enough in the Major League Baseball draft, he could be sitting on some fat stacks, making him a millionaire at 17.
The notion is not far fetched, not to the 32 MLB team representatives who have visited his home in Winter Haven, not to his coach Rick Moser, who has been around the high school baseball scene a long time but hasn't noticed this much buzz surrounding a Polk County player since 2004, when Fort Meade's Andrew McCutchen was drafted 11th by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Carson Fulmer, a pitcher with a penchant for making hitters miss, has a bright future ahead of him, to be certain, but this polite, shaggy-haired, baby-faced kid with a mean fastball and a biting slider is focused on another personal goal.
He's ready to lead his high school team to a state title.
Today he'll get the chance to at least get them into the championship game.
The task won't be easy, he said.
All Saints' Academy (20-8) faces Trinity Christian Academy in the Class 2A state semifinals at 7 p.m. at Digital Domain Park in Port St. Lucie. Trinity has a 15-13 record and started the season 1-6, but that overall record is a bit deceiving.
Trinity has played quality opponents throughout the season, including teams in higher classifications. All of its losses but two have been decided by two runs or less.
As a team, Trinity bats .308 with senior Ryan Hagy, who stands 6-foot-7, as the grinder. Hagy has a .429 batting average with 19 runs batted in.
Fulmer carries a 10-0 record and a 0.27 earned run average into the game. In his last two he has 31 combined strikeouts.
Those numbers, to him, are not that big of a deal. He doesn't shrug them off, but this game is a new one.
"I'm basically going out there with a white page and not thinking about anything." (I'm just going to) come in with a clean slate and throw the way I throw," Fulmer said.
If it's the way he's been hunkering down all season, it will make work easier for his defense.
"Sitting back there as the shortstop, it's kind of relaxing," shortstop Garrett Doyle said. "He does a good job."
On offense, All Saints also will rely on Fulmer, who has a .424 average this season with 20 RBIs. Doyle, Tyler Kelley, Greg Pitsikoulis and Brenton Willis also are expected to produce for All Saints like they have all season.
Doyle leads the team with a .465 average and 29 RBIs. He's also got eight doubles, three triples and two home runs.
Getting to the state tournament is a special experience for any high schooler. Winning it is another story.
Fulmer knows the feeling of finishing first. He threw four shutout innings and had two saves to help the U.S. 18-under national team win a gold medal in the Pan American Championships in November.
Now he wants a win for his current teammates.
"It's really important to him," Moser said. "He said he needs the state ring on his finger, too.'"