For the third-consecutive year, Rockingham junior pitcher Coby Ingle was selected by the North Carolina Coaches Association’s as an All-State player. The mantle is getting mighty crowded in the Ingle household as the awards continue to pile up, and considering his senior season is still ahead of him, the accolades will likely continue well into the future. In addition, he was recently named the Mid-State 3A Conference Pitcher of the Year and he is a three-time All Conference winner as well.
His talent was evident from day one, so talented in fact that NC State offered him a scholarship as a freshman.
NC State is a place where he said he is 100 percent committed to go, but it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibilities he could be drafted straight out of high school by a major league team considering his numbers on the mound.
He was virtually unbeatable, compiling a .79 ERA while striking out 105 opposing batters closing out his junior campaign with a record of 8-1.
Ingle was no slouch in the batter’s box either. He had a .349 batting average, had 29 hits and 15 RBIs over the course of his junior year. In addition he showed he had power as well, hitting three home runs.
Knowing that he was headed to the ACC to play baseball hasn’t affected Ingle’s approach, says Rockingham County coach George Barber. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound right-hander has had the ‘it’ factor from his first day on the field as a freshman.
“It goes back to working hard. He’s always looking for a new way to get better — physically, mechanically — whatever it takes to improve as a pitcher,” Barber said.
“Obviously he has some talent, but along with that talent is a work ethic that not many kids have. It’s a great thing for our program, especially the younger kids, because they see him working so hard and being successful and it carries over to them.”
Ingle says he starts every day with a workout of 90 minutes to two hours and focuses on nutrition to try and build more muscle. Barber says he’s got the fire in the belly that most players simply don’t have.
“That kid hates to lose,” Barber said. “When he’s on the mound he knows he’s in his element. Sometimes with a pitcher like him, when he’s on top of his game you just sit back and watch and enjoy it.”
Barber said Ingle’s fastball is excellent, but the key to the kind of dominance he demonstrated over the course of the season is his curveball.
“When we played at Northern Guilford (on March 26) and he was throwing that curveball for strikes and his change-up … he was unhittable,” Barber said, referring to a 4-1 win. “He was locked in. Complete game. Eighty pitches. They couldn’t even foul it off.”
His goals for the rest of the season and the rest of his high school career are simple.
“Just continue to stay healthy and progress as a pitcher,” Ingle said. “Be able to throw every pitch for a strike and just compete, and be a good person as well.”