Before he captured America’s hearts in the Little League World Series, Chase Fralick was making waves on the tennis circuit.
In June, Fralick battled Noah McDonald in the finals of the Boys Southern Closed 12 Tennis Championship. After a back and forth matchup, Fralick defeated McDonald in straight sets (6-4, 7-5) to win the Southern Championship.
The celebration was short-lived as Fralick traded in his tennis racket for a baseball bat and went back to work with the Peachtree Little League baseball team.
Two months later, Fralick was again in the winner’s circle as Peachtree City celebrated their Little League team in September. The squad won the Southeast region and made it to the U.S. Championship Game in Williamsport, PA.
Fralick hit over .300 and caught every game of the Little League World Series. As he sat down and signed autographs at a hometown celebration, he couldn’t help but smile and marvel at his journey.
“It’s crazy that everyone here is supporting us,” Chase Fralick said. “It feels really good to get back home and sleep in your own bed.”
The daily grind is nothing new for Fralick. He started balancing two sports as a youngster in North Carolina. His dad, Jonathan Fralick, got him involved in both sports, as he was the head tennis professional at the Cary Tennis Park.
He spent many nights teaching Chase about the intricacies of tennis. Jonathan showed taught him everything from volleys to backhand winners. As Chase got older, the family moved to Chicago, New York, and eventually Peachtree City. Along the way, Chase also picked up baseball and it lead to training with the Five Star national baseball team.
Now, Chase spends most of his summers traveling to baseball and tennis tournaments. According to his dad, Chase spent nearly every day of the summer on the road.
“He spent 65 nights on the road, since May 15, between tennis and baseball,” Jonathan Fralick said.
With all the traveling, Chase’s parents make sure he stays on a strict schedule. A typical day starts with online classes from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. He then heads to an hour lunch, followed by a tennis session, a break, and a baseball session to end the night. By eight o’clock, he is typically in the bed sleep.
“His days are pretty structured,” Jonathan said. “I watch his nutrition and make sure he stays in shape. I also watch his sleep schedule and makes sure he balances his fitness.”
Chase agrees. He knows that both sports take significant time to master. He is grateful to be able to train with his dad in Peachtree City.
“With tennis, I have to keep up with everybody and go 100 percent every minute,” Chase said. “It is so that you can stay competitive with everyone that trains all year around.”
The training has paid off. Chase is currently ranked No.8 in the UTSA Southern rankings and No. 95 nationally. In nine tennis matches, he has posted an 8-1 record. On the baseball field, he finished second in RBIs and batting average.
“I like the fact that he competes,” Jonathan said. “He won the Southern title this year and is arguably the number two player in the southeast. He earned that and has never had a code violation. He plays sports for the right reasons.”
A decision looms on which sport to pursue full-time. Chase is slated in the McIntosh High School district and there is a chance he could play baseball for the team. He also could play full-time at IMG Academy for tennis.
Either way, the ultimate goal is to get a scholarship playing baseball or tennis at Duke University.
“He has been that way since he was in kindergarten,” Jonathan said.
Until then, Chase plans to continue enjoying being a two-sport athlete. He will always remember his time at the LLWS from the camaraderie mingling with different players to meeting former MLB catcher David Ross.
“I am a Cubs fan and it was really cool,” Chase said. “He is a good catcher and it is pretty good to see him.”
Chase said that being apart of history is something he will always cherish, and being in the U.S. Championship is a moment that will never be forgotten.
“I will remember just playing in the U.S. Championship and being one of those two teams from the U.S. to play in that game,” Chase said.