CLINTON — Tyler Howe’s dream is to someday play pro baseball.

In a sense, he’s already gotten a taste of the big leagues.

Howe, a Northeast graduate who is a catcher for the University of Kentucky baseball team, got a chance to catch for future Hall of Famer Roger Clemens during an impromptu practice session in May.

Clemens, who had just signed a contract with the New York Yankees, was in Lexington — the site of the University of Kentucky — to see his son Koby play for the Class A minor league Lexington Legends.

“I got a call one morning from our pitching coach (Gary Henderson) telling me to be at the ballpark in 15 minutes with my catching gear,” said Howe. “I thought that was really strange, but I got my stuff together and took off. I saw the media trucks when I arrived and thought that was really weird. When I walked in, I was told to hurry up because in five minutes I had to catch for Roger Clemens. I couldn’t believe it.”

Clemens may have been rusty, but didn’t show it.

“He threw 100 pitches — 50 to me and 50 to our other catcher (Sean Coughlin),” said Howe. “He was pretty impressive with his command. Wherever I was set up, the ball was there.”

Howe said Clemens’ character was equally impressive.

“He was the most down-to-earth guy you could meet,” he said. “He talked with a lot of us guys, especially the pitchers. I gained a lot of respect for him.”

Howe split time with Coughlin behind the plate for the Wildcats this season.

“Overall things went pretty well,” said Howe. “I didn’t quite hit the way I wanted to, but I played good defense. I caught 28 games and when I wasn’t catching, I’d DH depending if the pitcher was a righty or a lefty.”

Howe hit .241 with 22 RBIs and a slugging percentage of .361.

As a team, the Wildcats got off to a hot start.

“We were 20-0 at one point and ranked sixth in the nation,” said Howe. “Then we hit a wall. We had some injuries and things kind of snowballed. Our final record was 34-19, so it’s easy to do the math of how things went down the stretch.”

The struggles in the win department could be partly attributed to playing in the rugged Southeastern Conference, where the Wildcats went 13-16.

“At one point, nine of the 12 teams in the conference were ranked in the top 25,” said Howe. “Playing in the SEC is a cool experience. Everyone is so talented.”

Howe gave an example of such talent.

“When you see these types of schools, even the No. 3 or 4 starting pitchers are very good,” he said. “There’s never an easy weekend in conference play.”

Howe’s time behind the plate will most certainly increase his senior season since Coughlin was drafted and signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks’ organization.

“The coaches have already told me to be ready to catch every conference game,” said Howe.

Howe is honing his skills this summer by playing in the Coastal Plains League, a collegiate collection of talent.

He plays for the Outer Banks Daredevils, who are based in North Carolina.

“Things are going good,” he said. “I’ve played every inning of every game.”

In those 24 games, Howe has caught 15 contests, played third base nine times and also served as a relief pitcher.

Despite the versatility he’s displayed, Howe knows where his future lies.

“If I make it to the next level, it’ll be as a catcher,” he said. “It all depends what happens next season at Kentucky. If I have a good year, I think I’ll get drafted.”

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