Dec. 29—Titus Bleckley, a senior at Pisgah High School who's No. 1 in his class academically, recently committed to continue his baseball career for the Mid-Atlantic Christian University Mustangs.
Bleckley said he is excited to continue playing the sport he fell in love with at age four at the next level. He's also excited about fulfilling a promise he made to his late grandmother, someone he described as "by far one of the most important people in my life."
"I always told her I'm going to play college baseball, that was the goal since day one," Bleckley said. "It felt really nice to be able to fulfill that promise."
Bleckley earned All-Mountain Six Conference honors last season after helping lead the Bears to a conference championship and an 11-3 overall record. Bleckley played first base, designated hitter, and was utilized as a defensive utility player while batting over .300 from the left side.
"He's developed into a leader, he plays hard, he loves the game," Pisgah Head Coach Harold Shepard said. "He's a team guy for sure, so he brings a lot to the table."
MACU is a private Christian school located in Elizabeth City. The Mustangs compete in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association.
"I'm from a small town where I can go to Bojangles or Ingles the day after a game and they're like 'great game,' and I don't know who these people are, but you can just tell that they care," Bleckley said.
Bleckley loves that sort of support from the Canton community and believes a smaller school like MACU will allow him to thrive since he's used to the small-town atmosphere.
"Being from a small community makes you want to go to another small community when you grow up," Bleckley said. "MACU is a school with less than 1,000 students in it right now in a small town on the coast. It feels like they took Canton and put it on the beach."
Another thing about MACU that makes Bleckley feel like it's the right fit is the fact that it's a Christian school that prioritizes faith.
"You can tell that they put faith first, school second and athletics last and that's my list of priorities in life," Bleckley said. "It was very nice to see that at a college level."
While Bleckley is thrilled about the chance to continue his athletic career at the next level, he doesn't let sports distract him from the classroom, where he has the top grade point average in Pisgah's class of 2022. Bleckley said the key to balancing his faith, his academic and athletic success, and the rest of life is time management.
With his next step after high school already figured out, Bleckley is excited for and focused on his last ride as a Pisgah Bear as the team looks to secure another conference title.
"Now that my recruitment process is over, it makes it a little bit easier and takes some pressure off, so that way I can focus on going back-to-back in a new conference with my guys here at Pisgah," Bleckley said.