One of Brian Holcomb’s dreams was to play Division I baseball. He was a stud pitcher in high school, going 4-1 with a 1.90 ERA his senior season. However instead of pursuing his dreams and playing college hardball, he dedicated his prime years defending the country and joined the Navy.
Since graduating high school, Holcomb was in the Navy for 17-years, but the desire to play college baseball still burned in his heart. Now 34-years-old, Holcomb enrolled at Jacksonville University. In March, the NCAA cleared the Navy vet to play on the school’s baseball team
Holcomb, who is a member of the Wounded Warrior Project, made his debut this week when his Dolphins took on Georgia Southern. Jacksonville head coach Tim Montez gave Holcomb the ball to start the game. Jacksonville was appropriately wearing camo hats, that were chosen by the vet.
Holcomb reared back and delivered the first pitch to the opposing batter. STRIKE! The Navy veteran attacked the hitter with fastballs fired from his sidearm delivery. The batter pushed the count to 2-2 count. Then the Georgia Southern hitter pulled the ball into right field for a lead-off single.
Montez came out of the dugout, walked to the mound, saluted Holcomb and took the ball from him. While it wasn’t the result that Holcomb was looking for, it was still a remarkable moment that transcended sports.