HIGH ACHIEVERS: Stay-Safe Edition
Keeping Local Sport Spirit High During the Pandemic
By Martin Cleary
They met on a baseball diamond and have been teammates for what seems like forever. They attended the same high school for two years. Now they will both follow their baseball dreams to the U.S.A.
Shortstop Patrick Mulligan and pitcher Jack Mount are best friends and will start their post-secondary education studying business while continuing their baseball development at Cloud County Community College in the state of Kansas.
Mulligan had expected to attend Cloud County in 2020, but held back because of the uncertainties triggered by COVID-19. He decided to stay home in Ottawa and take some courses at Algonquin College.
Mount is completing his second and final year at the Vauxhall Academy of Baseball in the Alberta town known as the potato capital of the West, preparing for the next level in his education and baseball.
But come August, they’ll play in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference for the T-Birds, who are located in Concordia, the hometown of former and well decorated Ottawa Rough Riders’ lineman Kaye Vaughan.
“It will be very interesting. Not every day two kids go to the same school for baseball, a high-level D1 (junior college),” Mulligan said in an interview. “We’ll embrace the situation and hope to get drafted (by a Major League Baseball team).”
After Mulligan and Mount played Little League Baseball for Glebe and Orleans respectively, they were on travel-team rosters for the Ottawa Chiefs, Ottawa-Nepean Canadians and Capital City Reds over the past five years.
“It will be cool to experience it with him,” Mount said about moving forward with Mulligan. “(Cloud County) wasn’t my first choice… but it came down to the point that I wanted to play baseball with my best friend.”
Mulligan has a quick glove-to-hand ball transfer and good arm strength as a middle infielder. Prep Baseball Report said he moved well defensively and “does a lot of things right with solid actions.”
During a 2020 Scout Day, Mount showed a quick arm, his fastball moved between 86 and 89 m.p.h. and it has hit 91 on the radar gun. In the 60-yard dash, he had the third best time of 150 players at 6.96 seconds.
In 2019, Mulligan played three games (centre field and shortstop) for silver-medal-winning Team Ontario at the Canada Cup baseball tournament in Regina. He also represented Canada at a showcase tournament in Oklahoma.
At Vauxhall, a high school/baseball academy, Mount “helped to perfect small and big things and learned a lot of lessons.” He pitched 14 innings as a reliever for Vauxhall in 2019-20 and didn’t allow a run.
Mount played in two top-level showcase competitions in 2019 – the Futures Game in Emmerson, Georgia, which is north of Atlanta, and Tournament 12 for Team Black at Rogers Centre in Toronto.
Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for over 47 years. A past Canadian sportswriter of the year and Ottawa Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement in Sport Media honouree, Martin retired from full-time work at the Ottawa Citizen in 2012, but continued to write a bi-weekly “High Achievers” column for the Citizen/Sun.
When the pandemic struck, Martin created the “Stay-Safe Edition” to provide some positive news during tough times, via his Twitter account at first and now here at OttawaSportsPages.ca.
Martin can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @martincleary.