Piedmont’s Mohon moving on up to play baseball at Snead State

Piedmont’s McClane Mohon signed a baseball scholarship with Snead State Community College on Wednesday. Pictured with Mohon (seated) are his baseball coaches. Standing from left is Landon Pruitt, Logan Pruitt, Matt Deerman (head coach) and David Deerman. Photo by Shannon Fagan.

By Shannon Fagan, WEIS Sports Director

PIEDMONT – Piedmont baseball coach Matt Deerman recalls McClane Mohon’s freshman year. It was early in the season and Mohon hit a popup on the infield.

Mohon jogged halfway down the first base line and stopped.

Deerman didn’t make a big fuss about it, but what he did got Mohon’s attention.

“I told somebody else to go to second base, and I said to him, ‘You know why you’re being taken out?’ Deerman said. “He said ‘No.’ I said ‘We run hard to first base every time.’”
It was a lesson the young Mohon took to heart. Flash forward to now, and he’s known as the Bulldogs’ energy guy.

“From that day forward, you can watch him, and in between innings he sprints to his position every single time,” Deerman said. “He hits a popup now he’s going to be standing on second base if the guy drops it. He’s going to get two out of it. He took that to heart, and it means a lot to me as a coach that he bought in and listened. That says a lot about his character.”

“Coach Deerman gets personal with every player,” Mohon said. “Early on as a freshman, I come out there and I was with the big guys – Noah Reedy, Jack Hayes, all of them. It was a little intimidating. (Following that incident) I was like ‘I’ve got to do something to stand out.’ I’m not stronger than them. I’m just this skinny kid. I was like ‘I’m going to do everything with a lot of energy’, and I liked it.”

That early lesson Mohon learned has not only served him well with the Bulldogs, but now it’s helped him secure his baseball and academic future.

Mohon signed a scholarship with Snead State on Wednesday afternoon. Last season, the second baseman batted .390 with 12 doubles, two triples, two home runs, 19 walks, 11 stolen bases, 49 runs and 25 RBIs in leading the Bulldogs to a 27-10 record and the quarterfinal round of the Class 3A state playoffs.

“It’s exciting,” Mohon said. “It’s a little scary because you know it’s about to step up a few notches, but I’m more excited than anything. I’ve still got some business to take care of here. I love these guys and I can’t wait to finish this season out, but I’m really excited (for Snead).

“I’ve always liked Snead. This past summer, I play Excel (travel ball), and we got a chance to play at Snead. I walked out there and the dirt was real nice. As an infielder, I really like that. Coach (Casey) Underwood is a great guy. He showed me the locker room and just kind of wowed me a little bit. The vibes were just right. It was just all good. I was like ‘This is it. I want to come here.’ It reminds a lot of Piedmont. Piedmont has always been hard-working and hard-nosed. I think the same thing about Snead.”

For Deerman, Mohon’s signing is bittersweet. He’s coached a Mohon ever since he’s been the Bulldogs’ head coach. He also coached McClane’s older brothers Mason and Bryce.

“It’s been a fun ride with that family. They’ve meant a lot to our program. They’ve always supported us. All three of those boys have given a lot to this program,” Deerman said. “It’s rewarding to see all three get the opportunity to play at the next level. It’s a bittersweet moment for me. You’re tickled to death, so happy and proud of McClane, but at the same time it’s the end of a seven-year run with their family. It’s actually been longer than that. Mason actually started as a ninth grader, the year before I was a head coach under Coach (James) Blanchard. I’m super proud for him and that family and for him to get that opportunity.”

The younger Mohon also attributes part of his success to his older brothers and his father, Duane.

“My brothers were great players, great athletes, great people. They worked hard,” he said. “It all goes back to dad. Every summer, every chance he got, he would work with us in baseball. It’s not like he made us do it. We just loved it. We’re just real competitive. When we were younger, we’d always be fighting, talking about who’s better.”

While Deerman might never confess which of the Mohons is the best player, he takes pride in all of them being the next men up.

“(McClane) has done a really good job of setting an example for how we want the game to be played, and that just rubs off on the guys behind him,” Deerman said. “He’s got an eighth grader playing next to him at shortstop who watches everything he does. He’s doing things the right way. It’s very important that he does that.

“That’s why I think the continued success that we have happens. It’s because of guys like him being good leaders. We voted for team captains (before this season). We’ve got 26 players in the high school program, and he got 23 votes. That speaks highly of what his teammates think of him. I can say all I want to, but when your peers speak about you like that, I think that speaks volumes.”

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