Nightly News | May 22, 2012
>>> finally tonight, let's stay with our baseball theme. we have an inspirational story from the mound for anyone working to succeed. ron allen has the story from oakland, new jersey.
>> reporter: some of what makes austin an ace picture for the braves is obvious. he has a 90 mile an hour fastball, and he throws a mean curveball too. but there's something unique about this 17-year-old strikeout artist.
>> i think it probably is his focus and determination.
>> to me, it's no big deal . like i just feel like any other person out there.
>> but he's not. he was born with profound hearing loss, had two operations during childhood, surgically implanting a device that with a hows him to hear, but he takes that off when he takes the mound.
>> i think it gives me an advantage too. when i don't hear anybody, the other team or the parents, i can focus that much easier.
>> reporter: he's considered to be one of the top high school pitchers in the state of new jersey , dominating opponents. he started the season off by pitching a no-hitter. he's also a star student with a 3.7 gpa and has a scholarship to boston college this fall. but he's set his sights even higher, major league baseball . pro scouts attend every one of his games.
>> the other team could be yelling, i could be yelling, everyone could be yelling, he doesn't hear you.
>> reporter: communication isn't a problem, because baseball is a game full of signs. some historians credit a deaf player with creating signs for calls like strike. more than 100 years ago. the sky's the limit.
>> he's a special, special young man. we'll be watching him and supporting him every step of the way.
>> you don't hear the cheering either?
>> don't need to.
>> you just kind of go into your zone and --
>> yeah, i'm cheering for myself.
>> a teenaged phenom who sees himself like all the other players, blowing away the competition one pitch at a time. ron allen , nbc news, oakland, new jersey.