Shane Blackwell and Hendersonville Honeycrisp pitcher Jordan Searcy shared a moment before Saturday's game, with Blackwell throwing out the first pitch at Searcy's request

Blackwell gets special opportunity thanks to ex-Wolverine Searcy

Shane Blackwell already had plans to take his Mountain View BBQ food truck to Saturday’s Hendersonville Honeycrisps game.

The Honeycrisps are the new entry in The Old North State League, the largest summer collegiate baseball league in North Carolina. Four Polk County High graduates are on the roster, and Tryon High graduate Mark Emery is the team’s general manager.

So it proved no surprise to Blackwell when the team asked him to bring his popular food truck for Saturday’s game against the Lexington Flying Pigs. But a text message that Blackwell received from a team staff member did catch him off guard.

“I want you to throw out the first pitch,” Blackwell recounted of the message. “And Jordan Searcy wants to catch it because he said you played a tremendous role in his athletic career.”

Searcy is one of the team’s pitchers.

Blackwell, needless to say, became emotional about the request.

“How awesome is that?” he said. “It brought me to tears.”

So Blackwell loosened his arm and delivered the first pitch Saturday, complete with a hug from Searcy.

The Flying Pigs, though, did put a damper on the evening with a 12-5 victory despite a 2-for-2, two-RBI effort by former Wolverine Bryson Edwards and a 1-for-1, RBI day by another former Polk standout, Grayson Jones.