STORY: 2019 OF J.T. Mounce (Cypress Christian)


Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Texas Writer

HOUSTON, TX - At the age of 11, JT Mounce decided to give up on baseball to concentrate on golf. The experiment lasted two years.

“I took a two-year break to play Junior Golf,” Mounce reflected. “I was pretty good, a bogey average golfer.”

But at 13, Mounce was back on the baseball field.

“I was super rusty,” Mounce pointed out. “My baseball swing coincided with my golf swing ... slicing the ball. But once I got back in the swing of things I figured it out.”

How far Mounce could go in the sport was uncertain at the time.

“My childhood dream of playing baseball in college did not become reality until I went to a PBR event and stood out,” Mounce noted. “Then I realized I could do this.”

Playing for his summer team, the Cypress Christian junior was seen by the Oklahoma State head coach who was there to watch a teammate of Mounce. Interest continued on both ends, with Mounce able to show off his abilities.

“Coach (Josh) Holiday was there at the PBR Future Games,” Mounce said. “That’s my favorite event, just the nature of it.”

Two visits, the second bringing a brother along for the experience, eventually took place in a state Mounce had never been to previously.

“I’ve got family in Dallas, that’s the closest I’d been,” explained Mounce, who lives eight hours from OSU.

The speedy outfielder was looking for three things in a school.

“First I wanted to find a good fit academically,” Mounce said. “Secondly, I was looking for a good baseball opportunity with location etc. And third, I wanted a coach that could develop me into a man.”

He found it all at Oklahoma State.

“They’re big at getting character guys,” Mounce said. “They’re interested in what you want to do the rest of your life. It has a good business program, coach Holiday was awesome and I just felt good about the opportunity to play for them.”

Soon after, Mounce committed.

“They really like my speed,” the 39th-ranked player in the 2019 class in Texas said. “I can run a little bit. I’m good at running down balls in the gaps and I have a pretty good arm. I’ve started hitting with more power now. The game they saw me I had a bunt single and an inside-the-park home run.”

Development over the past year has been huge for the left-handed hitting, right-handed throwing Mounce.

“I did a velocity program with my club team (Hunter Pence Baseball) and gained three or four miles per hour with my arm,” Mounce noted. “Hopefully, that keeps going up. Bat wise, I use to have an Ichiro swing where I used speed to get on. Now I’ve learned to use my hands to stay through the ball and I’m able to hit for more power.”

A standout as a wide receiver in football where the 5-10 160-pounder had four catches for 168 yards and two touchdowns in a 68-34 win over McKinley in the Division III state championship game, Mounce knows where his future lies.

“I told the football coach that it would be my last year and he understood,” Mounce said. “He knows it’s not your main sport and accepts who you are and works with you. This was our year to win state, and a good way to end it.”

A 4.0 student who plays center field and bats leadoff on strong high school squad, Mounce points to influences in his athletic endeavors.

“My parents are a big one,” Mounce said. “They’ve be in my corner the whole process, even when I decided to play Junior Golf. They convinced me to go where your love is and that they would support me in whatever decisions I made.

“My summer coaches Sean Danielson and Ryan Patterson also have been big in helping develop my game along the way.”

From baseball to golf to football and back to baseball, Mounce has had an eventful ride that will continue at the next level.

“I’m just going to do some fine-tuning and try to get better in all aspects of the game,” Mounce said about his baseball plans between now and college. “You’re not guaranteed a spot, so it’s all about working harder and harder. I want to get my bat better and my speed better. Once I get there, I’ll do whatever the coaches want.”

 


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