Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Summerville High School graduate Matt White is headed to the junior college baseball World Series.
The Spartanburg Methodist College infielder helped the Pioneers baseball team clinch the NJCAA Eastern District title last weekend to earn its second straight berth to the 10-team national championship tournament. Spartanburg Methodist opens the double-elimination tournament Saturday at 3 p.m. against East Central District champion Walters State Community College. NJCAA TV will broadcast the tournament, which is being held in Grand Junction, Colo.
“This is great,” White said during a phone interview Monday. “I mean it’s a little weird because you never think about playing with so many people watching but I’m excited about the opportunity. We have a lot of speed and some power and we all work hard and work well together so we are ready to go there and compete.”
The Pioneers (45-13) enter the World Series as one of the hottest teams in the country, having won its last 14 games. White had two hits and three RBIs Sunday as Spartanburg Methodist whipped Potomac State 17-2 in the Eastern District title game.
That was not the first time the infielder, who has spent time at both second base and third for the Pioneers, has shined this season. In the game that moved his team into first place for its region earlier this year White had a walk-off hit to drive in the decisive run. In Spartanburg Methodist’s opening game of its region tournament on May 4 the Pioneers trailed and were down to their final out when White hit an RBI triple to tie the game. The Pioneers went on to a 6-5 win in 11 innings.
A true freshman, White has played in 49 of his team’s 58 games. He became a regular starter during the team’s spring break tournament.
He has a .333 bating average for the season and a .436 on base percentage. White has 44 hits, 28 RBIs and seven stolen bases and has scored 39 runs. His fielding percentage is .925.
“The pitching is different at this level and I had to work hard to get to where I am now so I plan to keep working hard,” White said. “This team is a good fit for me so hopefully I will be able to continue to develop.”
This will be the Pioneers’ eighth trip to the World Series. Current coach Tim Wallace has led the team on six of those trips.
Contact Roger Lee @ 873-9424 ext. 213 or firstname.lastname@example.org