After a breakout season on the diamond, Wetumpka’s Seth Johnson immediately jumped into a summer full of extra work including participating in the Southeastern Underclassmen Shootout at Troy last week. The 4th annual SUS was put on by the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association and Johnson was invited to be a part of Team Alabama after his performance at the all-star event held two weeks prior at Troy.
“It was really a great time for me,” Johnson said. “Staying in the dorms with a lot of the best players from the state and getting to play with a lot of these guys as teammates instead of opponents was a great experience.”
Johnson was invited to the event after his performances at the AlaBCA regional workout in Montgomery and at the all-star event at Troy. He was selected as one of the top 23 players from the all-star event to represent the state in the SUS against teams from Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, Florida and Tennessee.
“I was definitely surprised by it but I was very happy about it,” Johnson said. “I really wanted to go to it and that as really the main reason I wanted to play in the all-star event.”
The invitation to the Shootout was not the only honor Johnson received for his performance at the all-star event. After a strong week at the plate, Troy offered Johnson a scholarship to continue his baseball career with the Trojans.
“That really meant a lot to me but it also put some pressure on me,” Johnson said. “I felt like I had to go back out there and perform really well in front of them again.”
Fortunately for Johnson, Wetumpka coach Michael Dismukes joined him for the trip as one of the coaches for Team Alabama. While Johnson said he continued to feel the pressure, Dismukes said he still played well.
“I just told him to go out there and relax,” Dismukes said. “He didn’t need to do too much so he just needed to play his game and have fun. I told him to go out there and perform and cherish those memories you make.”
During the Shootout, Johnson and Team Alabama played four games but came away with only one victory. Johnson did not pitch or take the field due to some soreness in his arm but he did step up to the plate where he got one hit and walked three times in 11 plate appearances.
“I didn’t play my best baseball,” Johnson said. “They were pitching me really tough but it will help prepare me better for the next time I see players like that. It helps me set a new standard for where I want to be.”
Dismukes said the skill level as a whole was very high and the pitching was dominant for most of the week. While Alabama did not come away with the results it wanted, they got to showcase their own talent and see where they stand against other states across the southeast.
“It was a great event for everyone,” Dismukes said. “We didn’t play our best but it was still a great experience for the guys. It was just a really fun week for everyone and a privilege to be a part of.”
Johnson said he appreciated getting the opportunity to participate in the event but now he’s focused on what remains on his schedule this summer. He will participate in the North-South All-Star baseball game in Montgomery on July 16, where he will get another chance to represent Wetumpka at a big showcase in front of a new audience including other college coaches.
“I was very grateful for the opportunity to represent the state of Alabama and to represent Wetumpka,” Johnson said. “I want to help show the kind of talent we have here.”