Roughly two weeks following our interview the tall righty was cruising through his latest start, maintaining a 3-0 lead. Finding himself in a small jam, Mulholland tried to snap of a breaking ball when he felt something pop in his arm.
“I knew something had happened, but I thought I could keep going and get out of the inning,” said Mulholland. “I threw a few more pitches after I felt the pop, and the last one got hit for a grand slam.”
Not only did the homerun come on the heels of Mulholland tearing an elbow ligament, but it also ended up being the decisive blow in what ended up being the only loss he suffered in high school.
“I had been 27-0 in my career up to that point, and finished my career at Pendleton 27-1,” lamented the righty, “but it wasn’t all bad, I had some time before the surgery so I DH’d the next few games and actually hit a homerun in my first home at-bat after I was hurt. I have no idea how it got out though because it felt like I one-handed it!”
Shortly thereafter Mulholland had a ligament from his leg transplanted to his elbow by Dr. James Andrews and there were a lot of new decisions to be made. One of the first things the Florida native did was to meet with Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco to return the scholarship that he had previously been given.
“I think Coach Bianco was a little surprised that I did it, but it just didn’t feel right to me,” said Mulholland, “I think the team can use the scholarship to sign another player, he contributes, they have a better year, maybe draw more fans, and the team is in a better position going forward.”
Playing for the Rebels is still on the radar though. Mulholland plans to do a year of post-graduate study at the local community college while he rehabs at IMG, retain all of his college eligibility, and earn back his baseball scholarship to Ole Miss.
“I’m going to make sure I don’t just come back healthy, but better than I was,” the right-hander said, “I want to use this time to set myself up for the next ten years of my baseball career, not just 2011. I don’t want to come back 100%, I want to come back 120%, 130% of what I was.”
Mulholland also sees this time as a chance to show his appreciation for the staff at the Pendleton School.
“I want to use the next few months to rehab at IMG and say thank you to everyone that helped me get to the point where I was being considered for the draft and had a scholarship to play baseball in the SEC. So many people have done so much for me, and hopefully I can give something back.”
As for some of the other draft prospects that were interviewed:
• Sean Coyle had a successful season statistically, but was disappointed when his team lost in their league’s championship game.
• Matt Lipka saw his team ousted in the first round of the playoffs, but he was 6 for 11 in the series and hit .411 on the season. He informed me that he is focusing on getting better leading up to the draft, has worked out for a few teams, and has kept good contact with area scout Mark Batchko.
• Kaleb Cowart informed me that he’ll be playing in the State Championship game this week. When it comes to the draft, the multi-talented star said that he is really hoping to get drafted as a hitter. He said he hasn’t really spoken to the Yankees that much recently.
• Drew Vettleson hit .490 with 8 HRs, and on the mound he was 4-2 on the season with a 1.68 ERA, including a no-hitter.
• Christian Yelich is focusing on staying sharp for the draft and has been taking balls in the outfield.
• Dan Child has made the transition from reliever to starter well, throwing 3 complete games in his previous 4 starts, and sitting 89-94 MPH in his last outing.
• Jesse Biddle has been at the top of his game recently, and informed me that he’s touched 96 MPH this spring.
• Bobby Wahl has seen his velocity be a bit inconsistent with the cold weather, but when he’s felt right he’s been 92-94 MPH. With his team in the playoffs he threw a CG two-hitter with 11 K on Friday, and came in for a 4 inning relief stint on Sunday to earn the win and advance his team to the semis.
• Garin Cecchini has been well ahead of schedule with the rehab from his ACL surgery at the hand of Dr. Andrews, will start hitting off the tee this week, and expects to be ready to go for fall ball at LSU or instructs at the pro level if he signs.