Dusty McGehee: Q&A with Bulldog Jonathan Fincher

Dusty McGehee

 

 

A few weeks ago, a friend had shared Jonathan Fincher’s ad on Facebook about pitching lessons he was offering to kids. Anders is no pitcher by any stretch, but he could definitely improve his throwing mechanics, so I reached out to him. He happily accepted; up to the Tech baseball facility we go. I quickly noticed a couple of things. First, Jonathan is a great teacher of the game. And second, he had a Sitka cap on.

The cap piqued my interest, so I had to ask if he was a hunter. He replied, “Yes, I love hunting!” I’ve never had the opportunity to interview an All-American pitcher, so here goes:

How did you get into hunting/fishing?

I grew up hunting and fishing on our family’s farm in Homer. Me and my dad would walk the creek shooting wood ducks. He was too impatient for deer hunting, but we had a 30/30 in the gun cabinet, so I decided to take it out in the woods my junior year of high school. My girlfriend and I went out in the woods, and I got one.

What similarities do you see between preparing for a hunting trip and preparing for a baseball game?

The mental mindset that it’s going to be a grind. Whether you’re working a group of ducks in the freezing temperatures or in a deep count with a batter, you have to be at the best of your abilities. If you’re hunting that big buck, you have to build a scouting report on it, just like we do in baseball.

Who has been the most influential person in your life for hunting and baseball?

Hunting and fishing-wise it would be Steele Netterville. He has way more experience than me and he has taught me most everything I know about deer hunting, duck hunting, and working the land.

Baseball- Mike Silva, the pitching coach that was here for three years.

What is your most memorable moment on the field … and in the field?

On the field- I started the opening game of the first regional we ever hosted last year. As I was walking to the mound, Coach Matt Miller and Coach Burroughs stopped me and said, “No pressure but we are keeping the first pitch, so it better be a strike.” LaTech’s first time to host a regional, stands are packed, I knew I HAD to throw a strike and I did. It was an amazing feeling.

In the field- It was a span of two days of my best hunting ever last year. Duck season opened November 12 in the west zone. The day before the opener, I went out for a morning deer hunt at my girlfriend’s property and killed my biggest buck, a nice 8-point. The following a day me and my buddy limited out on gadwalls in less than 20 minutes.

If you could make a living playing baseball or hunting, which would you choose?

I would choose baseball, but hunting would sure be fun. I don’t think I would want to get burned out on hunting if it was my job. I’ve devoted the last 17 years of my life to baseball, so it would be a pretty cool payoff if I could play in the MLB.

What if this interview results in you getting a NIL deal with Sitka?

Funny story, I tried that last year. Steele got me this hat as a Christmas present. I emailed Sitka and filled out a form and they wanted to know how many social media followers I had, and I guess I wasn’t popular enough at that time, so nothing came of it.

Can you get us to Omaha next year?

I hope so! We have to replace a few really key players, but I think we can get there! I’m going to use my experience to coach up and guide the new players we have coming in, but the best is yet to come for LA Tech baseball.

What are your plans if you don’t play professional baseball?

I’m studying for the MCAT right now and taking the test in August. Hopefully, I can get into medical school, and if so, I want to be a sports medicine doctor.

Could you kill a deer with a baseball?

If I’m really close and hit it in the forehead maybe, but I’d probably just hit it and make it mad.

Who is the best outdoorsman on your team?

By far Steele Netterville.

Who is the best player you’ve ever played with?

Taylor Young

Favorite thing about LA Tech/Lincoln Parish?

I like the family aspect of the community here. Everyone here is awesome and it’s like one big family. The support we get from the community here is incredible.

Best hunting snack?

Jalapeno and pepper jack deer snack sticks for duck hunting! It’s like a Slim Jim but made from venison.

What is the legacy you want to leave?

When I leave here, I want to leave a legacy as a someone the team enjoyed playing with and my fellow teammates knew I had their back at all times. That they could come to me for anything they needed. Also, as a guy that the university was proud to have represent them every time I took the field.

Can you still hit bombs?

I can. I have my Demarini voodoo from 2015 in my bag. When we do get the chance to hit pitchers BP, I’m putting some out of the yard.

If Anders guided you on a successful 8-point trip, how many free lessons could he get?

Anywhere from 15-20 lessons. I think that would be a fair trade off.

Alright…guess we’ll see you in October.

Hahaha, sounds good!

Would you rather win a national championship or kill a world record buck?

Because of my love for the game, this university and all it’s done for me, it would be an honor to bring home the first national championship trophy for La Tech baseball

Coach Burroughs has assembled an incredibly talented group of players and that is obvious from the results we have had. These young men are also high in character, and Jonathon is a testament to this.

The future is bright for LaTech baseball, but even brighter for “Finch.” He could hang up the cleats today and there is no doubt he would go on to lead a very successful life. I interviewed an All-American athlete and walked out knowing I was NOT the smartest guy in that room. 3.92 GPA, lover of the outdoors, potential MLB player, and undoubtedly, a future doctor.

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Dusty McGehee is a native of Downsville and a 2006 graduate of Louisiana Tech University with a bachelors in wildlife conservation. He is currently employed by WestRock and serves as an environmental engineer at the Hodge Mill. Dusty is an avid hunter and crappie fisherman, fishing crappie tournaments with his son when he is not in the woods. He and his wife Rachel have three young outdoorsmen/women: Anders, Ridge, and Mae. If you have a story idea or question about the great outdoors, you can reach Dusty at dusty.mcgehee@westrock.com.


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