Blake O'Neal: Hitting the Books Just as Hard as Baseballs

By PBR staff

Blake O'Neal is a 6-foot-2, 195 pound RHP at Lake Highland Preparatory School. He currently plays summer ball for the Chet Lemon's Juice and played last summer with the Florida Flash (2012) coached by Tom "Flash" Gordon. Being around major league coaching comes as no surprise to Blake. His father, Randy O'Neal, a former MLB pitcher who pitched 7 seasons with 4 teams most notable with the World Champion Detroit Tigers in 1984, served as his first coach.

Blake has more than just a name going for him.  He was clocked earlier this summer in the mid to high 80s, mixing in a slider and a changeup that his dad taught him. With his eyes on several Division I baseball programs, Blake’s baseball future seemed secure.  As Blake stated, “My dad and mom both molded me into the type of person I am today. Without my parents, Lake Highland Prep, and my friends, I don’t know where I would be today.” Little did Blake know, that his baseball career was about to meet its toughest challenge.  He suffered a serious injury during his senior season on a play at home, while attempting to avoid a tag sliding. Blake fractured his left tibia. The injury ended Blake’s senior campaign prematurely, but it was then Blake decided to major in pre med in college, and to seek a career as an emergency medicine trauma physician. “I want to be the best that I can be on and off the field, that is by helping others in crucial life or death experiences in the world and in emergency rooms.”  The passion of medicine was first realized during his time as a volunteer at Dr. Phillips Hospital, shadowing doctors in the emergency room. “A lot of people think that I am crazy because of the trauma that I see and the different things that are not appealing to most people. I think it is appealing because at the end of the day I want to look in the mirror and say I just saved numerous people’s lives today. Not many people can do that and I think that is very cool.”

A college prospect, Blake had to decide what school he wanted to continue his baseball and academic career.  It was a statement made by Lipscomb Head Coach Jeff Forehand, “We are not going to just have you go here four years with a great baseball experience, but a very good education that will set you up for life.” That statement convinced Blake that Lipscomb was the perfect fit. Blake signed to play baseball at Lipscomb, a Division I program in Nashville, Tennessee.

When asked about this whole experience Blake replied, “I know that it will be very tough to play Division I baseball and also study biology. But I believe that God has a calling for everyone whether it is business, medical, engineering, or a sports player. Many people have asked me the question do you really want to do this and I say 140 percent yes. I am very happy that God has started to lead me down this amazing path of happiness.”

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