Hutcherson Hanging Head In Shame After Baseball Goof

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April 11, 2012 | 2:11pm EST

Actor Josh Hutcherson was left shamed on the baseball mound after throwing out the first pitch at the Cincinnati Reds home opener in Ohio last week – because his lousy toss didn’t even make it to home plate.
The Hunger Games star, who was a high school baseball player, was invited to take the field before the Reds’ game against the Miami Marlins on Thursday, but weeks of practise failed to prepare him for the big moment, and when it came time to step up to the mound, the actor’s nerves got the better of him and he thew the ball into the dirt – in front of a sold-out stadium.

He says, “I was extremely excited. I’m a huge Reds fans. I’ve been a huge Reds fan all my life. I played baseball for seven years growing up and I was so nervous about throwing out the first pitch.

“I went to the park, like, every day, I was throwing, like, 100 pitches, getting it down pat. And the night I threw it I got to the stadium and practised on the actual mound. I was, like, throwing 75 mile-per-hour fast balls… right down the middle… I was so excited. And then the nerves kicked in.

“It was a sold-out stadium… so 43,000 people. And then I found out 20 seconds before I’m throwing the pitch that it was my favorite player on the team, Randy Phillips, who is going to be catching the ball.

“I step up… and pitch into the dirt, bounced it, I fell to my knees in shame. I’ve had a lot of embarrassing moments in my life, that was the most embarrassed I’ve been, ever – by far.

“I’m a better athlete then that, I promise you. It was horrible. I’m very talented at throwing a baseball, except when I have to throw it in front of thousands of people… It was horrifying.”