Pitching from one Helvey to the next

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According to the NCAA, there is a 6.1 percent chance that a baseball player in high school will make it onto a college baseball program. Now, what are the chances that two brothers three years apart will make it from the same high school onto the same college baseball team? Pretty slim to none.

Yet the Helvey brothers have beaten the almost the impossible odds, and both have the fantastic opportunity to play with one another on the College of Charleston baseball team. Both right-handed pictures, it seems that Clay, a freshman, is a carbon copy of his older brother, Nathan, a senior, but in reality, both pitchers arrived in Charleston through very different paths.

Senior Nathan Helvey earned the nod as the Cougars opening day starter this season (Photo courtesy of CofCSports.com)
Senior Nathan Helvey was the Cougars opening day starter this season (Photo courtesy of CofCSports.com).

“It was pretty much two different situations, recalls Nathan. I was on a pretty good summer ball team, and that got me seen pretty well.”

Clay on the other hand, started a little lower than his brother, but as Nathan puts it, “really came up from behind the scenes.”

Yet, while teammates, the brothers still share a connection on the field, even sometimes getting on each other as only brothers do.

“You know, I’ve always been pretty tough on him [Clay], so a couple weeks in, Heath had me back off him a bit and let him find his way on his own, because I had to do that when I was a freshman so it kind of makes sense for him to do that too.

Yet for Clay, adjusting to college was much easier, “Coming in, it felt like I already knew kind of what was going on, so some of the freshmen were coming to me, instead of some of the older guys at first, asking me what was going on. I’ve kind of felt like I was a little bit more responsible getting some of the other guys into it, not just on the field, but outside of it as well.”

According to the brothers, the biggest beneficiaries of having the brothers on the same team is their parents. Coming down from Charlotte N.C., “our parents don’t have to split time going to two different places, so it really works out well.”

While the brothers are lucky to share this season together, it seems that the next one will be a new chapter in each brother’s life.

Clay will be at college for the first time without his older brother, while Nathan on the other hand believes that he has a pretty good chance to be a senior sign for the Major League Baseball’s draft.

If he does not head into professional baseball, Nathan sees himself either, “going into law enforcement or possibly the military.”

Clay, still has three fantastic years to spend at the College, and as he puts it… “I don’t wanna say it will be tougher next year, but it’s going to be a new experience in a way, because with him being here, I feel a little bit more comfortable here.”

With the CAA baseball championships coming up, the Cougars (21-14-1, 5-4) will be looking for their brotherly duo to pitch them through the rest of the season, ensuring them a spot at the championship game. Yet for now, it seems that Nathan and Clay will be doing their best to enjoy the last few games together while ensuring that the Cougars will squeeze out as many wins as possible.

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