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Lutheran North's McGee signs to play baseball at UMSL

Lutheran North's McGee signs to play baseball at UMSL

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Lutheran North Signing Day

Lutheran North's Craig McGee signs his letter of intent to play baseball at the University of St. Louis on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 at Lutheran High School North in St. Louis, Mo. Paul Halfacre, STLhighschoolsports.com

ST. LOUIS — Craig McGee can pinpoint the exact moment he knew that he had some talent for baseball.

The now-senior Lutheran North pitcher/outfielder remembered the metallic crack of the bat and the rush of adrenaline as the ball flew over the fence.

That was his second varsity at-bat as a freshman.

"I knew then that his baseball thing is something I should take seriously," McGee said.

It got even more serious for the senior Wednesday as he signed his letter of intent to play baseball for the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

"It feels great," McGee said. "I know I'll be part of a team that will nurture me and helps me grow, so I feel great that I'll become a great person and as great of a baseball player that I can be."

For a school known for its dominance in football, to see one of his baseball players sign his letter was an exciting one for the athletic director and baseball coach Jon Mueller.

"It's great to see his dream gets achieved through this," Mueller said.

McGee's recruiting process was a short one.

The 6-foot-1 right-hander felt at home on the UMSL campus that is less than five miles away from the Lutheran North. When the Tritons' coaching staff came calling, McGee didn't let the opportunity pass.

"They were really high on me and it made me feel good about myself," McGee said. "They were my first offer, and they made me feel at home, so I went with them."

UMSL baseball has not recorded a winning season since 2016 and hasn't made the GLVC postseason tournament since 2014. 

That is something McGee will hope to help change, but only after trying to help Lutheran North improve, as well.

"The kid has always been a competitor," Mueller said. "We play in a tough baseball conference and there are times where it'd be easy to lie down, but he's a kid who shows up every day, wants that challenge no matter who the opponent is."

McGee led the Crusaders last season in batting average (.444), slugging (.519), on-base percentage (.531), runs (17) and hits (24).

While he is good with the bat, he also brought a strong presence on the mound, leading the team in innings pitched (50 2-3), games pitched (10) and strikeouts (71). 

"I come with a fierce mentality and I'm going to compete at all times," McGee said. "I'm a good student and I work hard outside the classroom."

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