Kade McClure, Mitch Longo excited for their first baseball camp – News-Herald.com

McClure-Longo baseball camp

When: 9 a.m., Oct. 21

Where: Mentor High School

Ages: 8 to 18

Cost: $80 (walk-ups welcome day of the camp)

Kade McClure doesn’t just remember the first time he faced Mitch Longo in the batter’s box.

It was the moment he saw him in a baseball uniform that really stands out.

Longo was a year ahead of McClure when the latter was at Mayfield and a future News-Herald baseball player of the year. McClure was an underclassmen at Mentor and a standout starting pitcher.

“He had these shades on, and the sweat was just glistening off him,” said McClure. “He looked so tough. Then he stepped into the batter’s box, and he looked like he just ate a baseball for breakfast.”

McClure might have been a bit over dramatic in retelling that story, but Longo’s success as a high school standout was to the point. He was one of the most feared hitters in Northeast Ohio at Mayfield, and that hasn’t changed since he became a professional.

The same can be said of McClure, only as a pitcher.

Over the years, that respect grew from competitors to tracking each other’s careers to a friendship.

It’s now morphed into a new venture, as McClure and Longo have teamed up for a baseball camp. The first is Oct. 21 at Mentor High School, starting at 9 a.m. for ages 8 to 18.

Walk-ups are welcome on the day of the camp. Cost is $80.

Campers will be divided into two groups — hitters and pitchers. The hitting group will work with Longo, the pitchers with McClure.

There will be Topps and Indians giveaways for campers, said McClure and Longo.

More important is the knowledge and message each is excited to pass along to campers.

“I did a lot of the traditional camps when I was growing up like the ones at Kent State, Ohio State,” said Longo. “But you show up, get your T-shirt and kind of go through the motions. I’m hoping we can give the kids something different.”

Longo and McClure are excited about one-on-one instruction with campers and group discussions.

“We’ll do a group (question and answer) about the mental approach to the game,” said McClure. “We’re hoping the kids take away something important from that. As a kid, I would have thought something like this would have been the coolest thing in the world.”

The credentials Longo and McClure bring to the camp are impressive.

Longo played at Ohio University, and as a junior in 2015 was the Mid-American Conference MVP. A year later, he was drafted by the Indians in the 14th round and has become a hitting force.

Last season, Longo batted .376 in 60 games with the Captains and high Single-A Lynchburg. He had 28 RBI, 20 doubles and 20 stolen bases.

McClure has been a standout since graduating from Mentor as one of the top pitching prospects in Northeast Ohio.

In three seasons at Louisville — one of the top college baseball programs in the country — he was 21-4.

As a Louisville junior last season, McClure was 8-4, with a 3.58 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 103 innings pitched.

He was a sixth-round pick of the White Sox, and after he signed, McClure appeared in 10 games with three White Sox minor-league teams, the last Single-A Kannapolis.

McClure was 1-0 with a 0.82 ERA in 11 innings of work. He allowed three hits, walked three and struck out 19.

For more information about the camp, email lakecountybaseballcamp@gmail.com.

McClure-Longo baseball camp

When: 9 a.m., Oct. 21

Where: Mentor High School

Ages: 8 to 18

Cost: $80 (walk-ups welcome day of the camp)

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