GRAFTON, Ohio - Seventeen-year-old Eric Lauer from Elyria fell in love with baseball when his grandparents bought him a bat for his third birthday.
Since then, Eric and his dad would play baseball any time in any weather.
"We would stay outside a lot and sometimes, it was just real bad weather and we'd stay out until it was dark. And you could hardly see the ball, then we put a mound in our backyard and I got real into to it," Eric said.
Last week, 20 big-league scouts armed with speed guns to clock how fast Lauer throws got quite a show. The senior pitcher from Midview High School delivered under pressure and watchful eyes by throwing a no-hitter.
On Monday, 30 major-league scouts showed up and the left-handed pitcher delivered a one-hitter.
"You wait your whole life for it and it comes and it's pretty intense. It's weird seeing them all flip their speed guns up at one time to begin with, but you get used to it. You still walk out there. You still throw a pitch. The strike zone doesn't change, nothing changes. It's still baseball," Eric said.
Eric's mom and dad are proud of their son's straight As, honor roll and the early college courses he takes at Lorain County Community College.
They're thankful for the scouts. But dad wonder's where the time went.
"I'm proud of how he handles himself. He's not a boy anymore," Rick Lauer said.
"He's a man doing what he loves to do. It's hard to think a few months from now he could be going away to play pro ball or to Kent State, but we'll be there for him," he said.
Eric's fastball hits 94 mph and averages between 88 and 92 mph, his coach said.
Would dad still want to play catch?
"I'm sure if I asked him he'd still go out there and play. He'd be like ‘Sure, why not?'" Eric said.
Eric said he chose Kent State because the pitching coach Mike Berkbeck is the best in baseball. He could be drafted by a major league team next month, or he might wait until he graduates Kent to enter the Major League Baseball draft.
He wants to study business and thinks someday it would be cool to own a restaurant.