FORT MYERS, Fla. – Moving in and out of town like a mercenary, Carson Fulmer paid a brief visit to the Perfect Game 17u BCS Finals Wednesday and quickly took care of his business.
Fulmer, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound right-handed pitcher who will be a senior in the fall at All Saints Academy in Lakeland, Fla., drove down here Wednesday morning and helped pitch the Orlando Scorpions 17u Purple to their fourth win at the 17u BCS Finals.
After spending a couple of hours at Terry Park, Fulmer then turned around and drove back home to Lakeland.
“I’ve actually had some school stuff I’ve been working on the last couple of weeks, so I had to stay home this week,” Fulmer said after his work here was completed. “Now I’ve got to go back home and get it finished up.”
But just getting to throw in at least one game this week provided him the baseball fix he needed.
“It always feels good to play,” Fulmer said. “I love every time I’m out there. It’s great, man, it really is.”
He is going to have the opportunity to get “out there” a lot more the remainder of the summer, and one such opportunity stands above the rest.
Fulmer is one of 46 of the nation’s top prospects who have been selected to play in the Perfect Game All-American Classic presented by Rawlings on Sunday, Aug. 14 at PETCO Park in San Diego. The Classic – formerly known as the Aflac All-American Classic – will be televised live on the CBS Sports Network (5 p.m. PDT) and proceeds from the event go to benefit San Diego’s Rady Children’s Hospital.
“It’s a huge honor. It’s something I’ve dreamed of doing since I started playing baseball,” Fulmer said. “It’s been a goal, and to be selected for it, man, it’s huge. It means the world to me and I really look forward to it.”
Fulmer was also named to the USA Baseball 18u National Team roster following trials in Cary, N.C., last month, and received an invitation for a second round of trials in late September. He will participate in the East Coast Pro Showcase Aug. 1-4, and the Perfect Game All-American Classic presented by Rawlings will be his final summertime event.
The Classic is kind of Fulmer’s own back-to-school special, and he plans to enjoy himself.
“Every time I play I try to have fun,” Fulmer said. “It’s baseball and I prepare myself for it … and when I’m on the mound I just try to have fun, I really do – especially (at the Classic). It’s huge to be one of those guys, and I hope I take full advantage of it and have fun while I’m doing it.”
Fulmer certainly look like he was having fun during his outing at the 17u BCS Finals Wednesday. Working quickly, he threw six strong innings of one-hit ball with 13 strikeouts and three walks in a 6-3 win over the East Cobb Red Sox at Terry Park.
His fastball touched 94 early in the outing and he was consistently at 91-93 even in the later innings. The Red Sox scored all three of their runs while he was on the mound in the top of the sixth to take a brief 3-2 lead, and the only hit he allowed came in that frame when the Kaine Gibson managed to turn on a 92 mph fastball and drilled a double down the left-field line.
All three of the Red Sox runs were unearned, and Fulmer was responsible for them thanks to walks, a balk and a wild pitch.
Even after the adventurous sixth Fulmer remained up-beat. He greeted his teammates outside of the dugout and cheered them on as they rallied for four runs in the bottom of the sixth to pull out the win.
“The thing about Carson that really sets him apart is he’s a great teammate,” Scorpions Coach Matt Gerber said. “He’s got great stuff, obviously, but every inning he comes in and whether he strikes out the side or whether we make three great plays behind him, he’s picking up his teammates and it’s never about him.
“He’s just been a blessing to have on the team and he’s just a phenomenal kid.”
Fulmer started playing baseball with T-ball when he was just 4 years old. He rose through the ranks and really starting blooming as a pitcher in the last couple of years when he started playing travel ball.
In addition to pitching, he also plays shortstop and bats lead-off for his high school team, but his future is on the mound.
Fulmer, who carries a 3.8 GPA at All Saints, has not verbally committed to a college and he said Wednesday it’s likely he’ll wait until the fall to do so. He wouldn’t name any front-runners at this point, saying only he is talking with schools in the powerhouse Southeastern Conference (SEC) and the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).
“I’ll take my officials (visits) and kind of do it old-school,” he said. “I’m just going to take my time and make sure I’m making the right decision. Hopefully it will play itself out.”
It was a quick but satisfactory day for Fulmer Wednesday at the 17u BCS Finals. It was his 15th PG event since 2008, a list that includes 12 WWBA tournaments, two BCS Finals and an appearance at the 2011 PG National Showcase.
“It’s been beneficial to me and I really appreciate everything (Perfect Game has) done for me,” Fulmer said. “I enjoy it. It’s a learning experience every pitch and going to these things will only make me a better baseball player. I really look forward to doing some more stuff with it.”