The boy who would be Babe Ruth will have to wait for a shot at glory. His high school career is officially over, far before most anticipated it would be.
Hunter Greene, a pitcher and infielder widely considered the nation’s best high school baseball player and expected to be one of the top 5 selections in the MLB Entry Draft, saw his high school career end with a 5-4 loss to Redlands East Valley in the second round of the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section baseball playoffs.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times’ Eric Sondheimer, there were numerous reasons for Notre Dame’s loss, though self-inflicted errors were clearly the dominant contributing factor. Per Sonheimer, the Knights made a number of errors, none more costly than a series of missed pop flies in the first inning due to sun glare that allowed East Valley to jump out to a 4-0 lead.
While Notre Dame eventually fought back to knot up the game in the top of the seventh, yet another error — on a throw attempting to catch a stealing runner — led to the final scoreline and a walk-off win for East Valley.
Greene’s stat line was notably meek for his final high school performance. The potential top overall draft pick finished 0-for-4 at the plate.
Greene has been in the spotlight for years and none moreso than a rare appearance by a high school athlete on the cover of SI.
“There’s no pressure for me,” he recently told D1Baseball.com. “I go out there and I just compete. I’ve been on the radar since I was 14 years old committing to UCLA. It hasn’t been a big deal. I go out there and play as hard as I can and put 110 percent into it and whatever happens, happens. I let God handle the rest of it. I just go out there and compete and have fun.”
While Greene is being scouted as both a pitching and batting prospect, he did not pitch throughout the final weeks of the 2017 season.
“I’ve been working on everything,” he said of his senior year. “Pitching, getting ahead, having good pitch selection at the plate, keeping my range good at shortstop, coming through the baseball and just working on my power, my flexibility and my ability on the field and just putting it all together.”
Now he’ll have nothing but rest as Notre Dame watches the rest of the CIF playoffs from the sideline, the aftermath of a bad set of breaks in California’s cutthroat single elimination playoffs.