Asecond-team All-Metro first baseman last season as a junior, Arundel's Shawn Pleffner had six homers, six triples, eight doubles, 37 RBIs and a .406 batting average for the Class 4A state champion Wildcats. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound left-handed hitter also pitched and won a few games in the playoffs after hurting his shoulder early in the season. Pleffner, who has a 3.70 grade point average and is headed to Tallahassee Community College in Florida on a baseball scholarship, already holds school career records for homers (12) and RBIs (85).
You hit a homer over the left-center-field fence at Severna Park last week. Did you hit it off your fists?
Yes, I did. I hit it almost off my hands on the handle of the bat and it vibrated my hands. I've never hit one out like that before. I knew it was going out, but I was surprised that it went up into the trees [estimated at 370 feet].
Why did you choose Tallahassee?
I visited several schools in Florida, and Tallahassee felt more like home, from the facilities to the coaches. By going to a community college, I will be eligible for the major league baseball draft both years, and if I don't get the chance to sign [professionally], I hope to end up at Florida State. It's the perfect situation for me.
Did you set any personal goals for this season?
Yes. I want to bat over .500, break the school record for homers in a season [seven] and the RBI record . I have two homers and 15 RBIs so far. And of course, I want to go out with another state championship.
How is your right arm this year?
My shoulder is fine. It's not bothering me at all and I'm throwing good [1-1 with 37 strikeouts in 18 innings]. Our pitching has never been this good with Tyler [Hibbs], [Eric] Potter and me. They're going to give me a chance to be a two-way player [first baseman-pitcher] at Tallahassee, and I like that.
What do you like to do when you are not playing baseball?
Hang out with my girlfriend, Erin, and Tyler, who is my best friend. Tyler and I have been playing baseball together for eight years and this will probably be our last.
If you don't make it as a pro baseball player, what do you hope to do?
I want to get into architecture or business.