PARKLAND, WA - February 4th is a day PLU pitcher Max Beatty will never forget. It's a day where a win on the mound was overshadowed by victory in life. But to understand this young man's journey, you have to go back.
"Every since you've been a kid, playing with your dad, playing with your brother, playing with your best friends, real team sport, something you can live around."
Max started playing baseball at the age of 5. From T-ball, to coach pitch to Little League, Beatty excelled.
"He was an All-Star every year, " said Ruth Beatty, Max's mom.
After high school, Max decided to attend Pacific Lutheran to play for Head Coach Geoff Loomis, who had played in the Oakland A's organization.
"Great guy, knows so much about the game, and is here to help us every single day," said Max. "You learn something new every single time you talk him to about the game."
As a Freshman, Max made just one start, but his dominance on the mound would quickly take shape.
His sophomore season he won 5 games, and that summer, would make his mark pitching for the Corvallis Knights, an amateur summer league team.
"I pitched as well as I could down there, tried to learn as much as I could in the short amount of time, and was able to have a great summer."
Heading into his Junior season, Max was poised for great things.
"Getting ready to come in for my junior year after a great summer, and I'm just ready to get after baseball."
During winter break in December of 2011, Max decided to head home to see family, and get some rest before the 2012 season. With pro scouts now planning trips to see him pitch, Max knew this was going to be a very important year.
"Baseball is looking like one of those things that I'm actually going to excel at, and have a future in this."
Max wasn't home long, before he discovered something that would change his life forever.
"I had the sense that something weird is happening, and then Christmas break, and I just started noticing more signs of stuff."
Max has a physical on a Friday, an ultrasound on Monday, and by Monday afternoon, Baseball America's top Division III prospect had been diagnosed with testicular cancer.
"You just kind of freeze up, that's what I did, I just froze up."
PLU head coach Geoff Loomis received a message from Max.
"He actually texted me that he had cancer," said Loomis. "Which was hard to take, but in typical Max fashion, he said, 'Hey, I threw a bullpen today, my elbow felt great, shoulder felt great, but hey coach, I have cancer'... just kind of hits you."
Max had surgery, followed by 15 weeks of aggressive chemotherapy. He lost his hair, his energy, but never the "will" to fight.
"He's amazing, his strength has been incredible in every aspect," said Max's mother.
Just over a year after getting the news, Max was back on the mound. For months, it was all about cancer and chemo. Now his focus was on his fastball, and Concordia University batter Sheldon Austria. Austria grounded out to second, and just like that, it was back to work for Max.
"It's a great game, I'm blessed everyday to come out here and do the thing I love."
The scouts are back, and so too is 90 mile-per-hour fastball. He's no longer the Number 1 prospect, but Baseball America still thinks he's good. They now have Max listed Number 2.