We have seen some kids from the county go off and play college ball, but we can add another successful one to that list in Chase High graduate, Tyler White.
White, who is in his third year at Western Carolina University plays baseball for the Catamounts and also helped Chase to one of its best seasons in 2009 with a 15-8 record and a third round 2A playoff appearance. Last summer, he topped off a great season with the Gastonia Grizzlies of the Coastal Plain League by helping them win the CPL title.
In NCAA play at WCU, White hasn’t backed off from being a dangerous threat at the plate.
He leads the team overall and has the third best batting average in the Southern Conference play this season. White also leads the team in on-base percentage (2nd in league), hits (4th in league), doubles (3rd in league), runs scored and even hit by pitches respectfully.
White has started 105 of his first 113 games during his freshman and sophomore campaigns, but has stated all 49 contests this season. White also had an 11-game hitting streak his freshman and sophomore years at WCU.
While the Catamounts run at a fast paced 30-19 record this season, the RW caught up with White, who is working on a Sport Management Degree with a concentration in Exercise Science to answer a few questions.
RW: What has made you so successful in baseball over the years?
Tyler: My success I feel has come from hard work, and having good people in my life. These people have always pushed me to make good decisions as well as push me toward my goals. My dad (Brian) was my high school coach and I feel that he taught me to do the routine things well which has helped me to succeed. I also feel that my competitive nature has helped me succeed. Since I was a small child it didn’t matter what I was doing or playing, I would strive to be the best at it. I’ve always been the type of person that wanted to be the best at everything I participated in. If I wasn’t I would do anything I could to try and become the best.
RW: WCU seems like a good fit for you, what are you thoughts on that?
I love Western and how it is a smaller school. Most people that come here love it or hate it, and I happen to be one of the people who love it. It is a great place, there are a lot of great people that go here and I really enjoy the atmosphere at WCU. Most people who don’t enjoy it are from big cities and like the city life. Moving from Cliffside to Cullowhee wasn’t a very big change for me.
RW: What is it about baseball that makes it a passionate about it?
Tyler: I have been around the game since I was born with my dad always coaching. I have loved the sport for as long as I can remember. My grandpa also had me out in the yard at four years old throwing me balls to hit and hitting me balls to field. My whole family loves it and I just feel the same way. Baseball was my first love and it is the best sport.
RW: You lead the Catamounts in six different categories this season, did you have a personal goal in mind considering how well you have done the first two years at WCU?
Tyler: I set different goals for myself as a player, but they’re not statistical goals. My main goal is to help my team win games. If the team doesn’t win personal success is no good. The biggest success and best feelings come from winning and celebrating with the guys you have been through the good and the bad with.
White, who will shortly finish up his junior year at Western will return to the Gastonia Grizzlies and try to repeat last summer’s success in the CPL.