LEESBURG — Nick Bush was eating dinner when his phone rang Tuesday night. The rising Lee County High School senior was expecting to hear some good news.
When he didn’t hear from the coaching staff, he had grown apprehensive and was somewhat stressed out. Around 6:45 p.m. when LSU head coach Paul Mainieri called him, a stressful evening turned into a night of jubilation.
Bush was offered and committed to the national power Tigers. The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder won’t be able to sign until the NCAA’s early signing period in November, but that still didn’t dampen his week.
“They were the first school that followed me the most,” Bush said. “Last year, I went on a visit and fell in love with the campus. They gave me an offer that I couldn’t turn down.”
In a rebuilding season at Lee County last season, the left-handed Bush went 3-1 on the mound with a 1.80 ERA and boasted a three to one strikeout to walk ratio. And he was a key reason the Trojans made the state playoffs where they lost to eventual Class AAAAA state champion Houston County in the second round.
Bush continued to improve this summer. While it wasn’t uncommon for the left-hander to consistently throw in the high 80s this season, his velocity increased to 92 while playing in a variety of summer tournaments. As a left-hander with good size and velocity, that was enough to get noticed from many elite college programs.
“To hit 90 (miles per hour) is one thing, but then to hit 92, especially from the left side, that’s pretty good,” Lee County coach Brandon Brock said. “He works hard and he’s a self-motivator. I’m proud of him for sure.”
As the Trojans enter Region 1-AAAAAA next season, Bush is expected to be one of the region’s top pitchers. Colquitt County lost their ace pitchers Mack Hathcock, Cole Bryant and Clayton Brown, while Tift County lost Alex Abbott and Zack Bullard. Lowndes lost standout Cory Pope.
But the senior hopes to continue to improve and lead Lee County back to the state playoffs.
“I had gotten all stressed out but when I got the call, I had a feeling there was going to be something good for me,” Bush said.
Perfect Game ranked LSU’s 2014 signing class as the best in the nation. Bush plans to be part of another strong Tiger signing class next season.