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Notre Dame commit David Lally looking toward MLB future

Notre Dame commit David Lally looking toward MLB future
David Lally went 9-1 with a 0.42 ERA and 90 strikeouts in his senior season at Grand Blanc. (Credit: Kirthmon F. Dozier via Imagn Content Services, LLC)

GRAND BLANC, Mich. (BVM) – The 2022 MLB draft continues to get closer and closer as prospects wait with anticipation to hear their name called. One of those guys is Grand Blanc High School grad David Lally. 

Recently, Lally had a chance to showcase his talent as one of 118 high schoolers to participate in the MLB draft combine, a rewarding experience that has moved him up draft boards.

“I feel like I helped myself, definitely,” Lally said. “I performed really well, I threw very well, my medicals and interviews went well there. It was a really cool experience being in downtown San Diego, having a huge hotel, having everything paid for. Everything they were doing for us for that experience was just unreal.”

The 6-foot-4 pitcher’s strong performance has many thinking he could star at the pro level, as he features a fastball that can touch the mid 90s, as well as a solid changeup, curveball and slider. Currently, he is ranked at No. 157 in mlb.com’s 2022 prospect rankings.

David Lally Harold Reynolds MLB draft combine
David Lally has a chance to be selected within the first few rounds of July’s MLB draft thanks to a strong performance at last month’s draft combine. (Courtesy: @DavidMLallySr/Twitter)

If and when the day comes that Lally gets his pro opportunity, it will be a full-circle moment for the pitcher who remembers throwing from his knees to his dad at just 2 years old, and grew up watching plenty of major league baseball alongside his father.

The Grand Blanc grad is a good athlete, playing football and basketball up until a few years ago. But he is also smart, doing his homework and studying hitters’ weaknesses to excel on the mound, just like one of his MLB idols in Max Scherzer.

From tee-ball to coach pitch to travel ball, Lally’s talent has shined through. As he got to Grand Blanc, his true potential was beginning to be realized. However, the pitcher started out as a JV player in his first year. The next year, his high school baseball season was canceled, meaning he had to wait until his junior season for his first full-time varsity action.

Yet, it was during that Covid pause that Lally began realizing just how good he is. Continuing to throw and lift to stay in shape and stay healthy, colleges began approaching him, and Lally eventually decided to make a final decision by committing to Notre Dame.

“Once Covid started to hit, that’s when I started to realize that I was more than just an above average baseball player,” Lally said. “That’s when colleges started reaching out to me. And then committing to Notre Dame, that made me realize that I had a chance to go to the next level.”

Lally had plenty of interests and offers to choose from as his recruiting rapidly picked up by the end of his sophomore year. But it did not take long for the pitcher to realize South Bend would be a great fit.

“I had a lot of calls, and then Notre Dame called me, and it was like no other call,” Lally said. “They just made me feel welcome, like it was home. I committed like five days later after they offered me.”

With his commitment locked up, Lally finally got his chance to star on varsity at Grand Blanc in 2021. Along with one of his teammates, Lally made his feelings known to his Bobcats’ team that this could be a special year.

“Me and one other senior believed that we actually had a chance to win it all,” Lally said.

Even so, the pitcher admits he wasn’t fully sure if Grand Blanc would go all the way. A bit of an up-and-down regular season that didn’t necessarily live up to Lally’s expectations furthered that notion. However, towards the end of the season, the Bobcats started getting hot at the right time.

David Lally Grand Blanc baseball MLB draft
David Lally helped spark a postseason run for Grand Blanc in 2021 that led to the Bobcats’ first baseball state championship. (Credit: Credit Kirthmon F. Dozier via Imagn Content Services, LLC)

“Right as the playoffs started, everybody was on the train that we were going to win it all,” Lally explained. “We were showing up with the most energy out of anybody by far. Everybody was playing, even if they were on the bench, everybody was getting loud. It was two different ball clubs.”

With momentum on its side, Grand Blanc made a run all the way to state. Once at Michigan State’s McLane Stadium, the Bobcats’ did not slow down. Following a dominating 10-1 win over Brother Rice in the semifinals in which Lally threw a four-hitter with five strikeouts, Grand Blanc (33-11) took care of business in the championship game, defeating Portage Central, 8-3, to earn the program’s first state title.

“I can’t even put words to it honestly, it was just unreal,” Lally said. “Those kids that we won it with, I’d been playing with for nine years of my life. Seeing all the players’ reactions, the kids’ reactions, we were sitting in the field waiting for the last out. I’m looking at the third baseman and we’re literally shaking and about to cry because we know that we did it. It was unreal knowing that we did it … probably my best moment of high school baseball.”

Lally concluded the season with strong numbers including an 11-3 record, 0.86 ERA and 83 strikeouts, and was named to the Collegiate Baseball High School All-American team. 

Coming off an incredibly successful 2021, Lally and the Bobcats were looking for a repeat this past spring. However, this season, the team was eliminated in the Division 1 district semifinals by Fenton. It was a bitter way to end Lally’s impressive Grand Blanc career, but he is proud of what he was able to accomplish the last four years. 

“I know that we could’ve done better and had a chance to win it all this year,” Lally said. “We came up a little short and that’s whatever, but I just wanted to cap off my high school career by leaving a mark on everybody in the program, outside the program, in the city in general, knowing that I came from there and that they were all part of my journey. They all have a special place in my heart.”

Lally continued to put up dominant numbers as a senior, going 9-1 while improving his ERA to 0.42 and recording 90 strikeouts. Meanwhile, he also hit .430 at the plate with seven home runs. For the second consecutive season, Lally was named to Collegiate Baseball’s All-American team.

“It was an honor seeing that my name was on that list just knowing that I was listed with the best of the best in the country and knowing my performances were enough to get me to that place,” Lally said.

Now, Lally will look ahead to his future. It could go down a couple of different paths, and one of those is suiting up at Notre Dame next spring, a program that just made a College World Series for the first time in 20 years.

David Lally Grand Blanc baseball MLB draft
David Lally, left, will likely be making a decision this summer between the MLB and playing college baseball at Notre Dame. (Credit: Tom Beaudoin / USA TODAY NETWORK)

“I just want to be able to do what they did and put Notre Dame on the map,” Lally said. “And obviously win a College World Series. It was great seeing that they put up such a good run this year.”

Meanwhile, the other path could take Lally straight to professional baseball. Whether he decides to pursue his pro dreams this summer or down the road, Lally has the talent to break through to the MLB, which will fulfill a longtime goal.

“It’s always been my dream ever since I picked up a baseball to be able to play MLB,” Lally said. “It’s just really special to me knowing that I actually have a chance to do it now after all my hard work … I’m just looking forward to reaching my highest potential in baseball.”

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