George Wythe pitcher Avery Mabe brings Major League dreams to the University of Virginia

WYTHEVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) -- For George Wythe senior Avery Mabe, the pressure is usually welcome.

"It's like ice in his veins," said his high school coach, Donnie Gamble. "He just really thrives off of everybody screaming and yelling."

But that's what you'd expect from a player who has been committed to one of the top Division I baseball programs since he was a freshman.

"Being a Division I commit, you kind of have a target on your back and everyone wants to get you out or wants to hit you even more," Mabe said.

The future Virginia Cavalier hasn't let that stop him, posting a 1.04 ERA to go along with 101 strikeouts in his junior year.

With no senior season on the horizon, the star Maroon now has his sights set on Charlottesville.

"He's one of the most humble kids I've ever met in my life," said Gamble. "His work ethic is just outstanding. He's a leader. He's been a leader since he was a freshman and it just gets better, like he's pitching to us. He just gets better and better every year."

In 2018, Mabe was a part of USA Baseball's 17-and-under National Team Development Program. Not only did he get to pitch at Wrigley Field and Miller Park, but he also got his very own baseball card, courtesy of Panini.

"I definitely need to work on my autograph," Mabe joked, looking at his printed signature.

He'll have plenty of time to work on his penmanship, and his pitching, while playing for a program just five years removed from a College World Series.

"ACC baseball, just playing on the weekends in front of large crowds that love the game," he said. "I can't imagine playing in a regional or a super regional in front of that many people."

With a fastball that already tops out in the low-90s and a dazzling changeup, Mabe said the next few years will be about developing his talent to a professional level.

While he won't have the high school finale he once imagined, there's no denying the mark he's left on his hometown.

"Just a great community. You go out and everybody's gonna talk to you about your most recent game, how well you did, how everything panned out," Mabe said. "It's just a great community to be a part of."

"You don't think of kids around here [playing at programs like Virginia] because you don't see it much, but there are kids around here that have a lot of talent, and I've been blessed to have him part of my team," Gamble said.

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