Connor Lewis received his first aluminum baseball bat as a gift when he was 2. At 3, he broke his first car window by smashing a ball through it with that bat.
Luckily, there aren't many cars parked near the A.C. Flora baseball field.
The Falcons senior is smashing balls over fences at an alarming rate. Entering tonight's elimination game against Blue Ridge in the Class 3A playoffs, Lewis has 15 home runs and is hitting .440 with 39 RBIs.
Not bad considering he is the Falcons' leadoff hitter.
Never miss a local story.
"I don't really consider myself a home run hitter," Lewis said. "I don't think about it going to the plate. I do all my preparing in the on-deck circle. It's just reacting to the pitches, and the ball just happens to be going out."
The home run barrage has been somewhat surprising. Last season, Lewis hit four home runs - the first of his varsity career.
In February of his sophomore year, the left-hander had surgery on the labium and rotator cuff of his throwing arm.
That forced him to miss baseball season that year and football season his junior year. He was able to return at the beginning of baseball season - and the time off showed.
Lewis admitted to being rusty at the plate. When he finally was able to work out the kinks, his power began to show.
Thanks to working vigorously in the weight room during his rehabilitation, he became bigger and stronger. His four home runs came late in the season, and the power surge has carried into this season.
"Things were rough in the beginning," Lewis said. "But I could tell I had more power at the plate. I think being able to get in the weight room really helped my hitting."
A.C. Flora coach Andy Hallett noticed the change as well..
"No doubt the time in the weight room paid off for him," he said. "He went from being a big, soft kid to a big, strong kid that has muscles. He completely changed his body type in a year."
This season started innocently enough for Lewis. Entering the Forest Acres Classic during spring break, he had seven home runs batting from the middle of the order.
Two things then happened that relieved some pressure for Lewis. First, Hallett inserted him into the leadoff spot after a couple of injuries to the team. Secondly - and maybe most importantly - Lewis committed to USC Sumter the day before the Forest Acres Classic began.
He turned down a few offers in football to continue his baseball career.
Since then, he has hit eight home runs, four of them leading off games.
"I'm definitely more relaxed," Lewis said. "Committing before the Forest Acres Classic took a lot off of my chest. I wasn't so much worried about coming out and impressing anybody after that."
Previously, Hallett had not coached a player who experienced such a power surge.
"He is getting good pitches to hit, and he's not missing them," Hallett said. "The last thing a pitcher wants to do is walk the leadoff guy. When they pitch to him, he's making them pay. It's been a sight to see."
According to the South Carolina High School League Palmetto's Finest record book, the record for home runs in a season is 22 by Preston Wilson of Bamberg-Ehrhardt in 1992. Lewis' 15 ties him for fourth place. Forrest Koumas of Lugoff-Elgin also has hit 15 this season.
To even be included in that discussion is something Lewis never envisioned.
"I never thought my career would end up like this," he said. "I'm just thankful that things turned out the way they did. After having surgery, I began to wonder where things would end up. But it's been a fun ride."