For Taylor Thompson, the opportunity to continue his baseball career with the Chattanooga State Tigers is nothing short of a blessing.
“I’m really excited about it. Not many people get the chance to go on and play college ball after high school, so I feel blessed and thank God for the opportunity to continue on,” the recent Cleveland graduate declared.
The signing of one of his squad’s consistent pitchers was less than surprising to Cleveland coach Ted Carson.
“Taylor is our second pitcher signed this year. I’m very proud of him and the way he’s thrown for us. Last year, he had some real great stats and has been a mainstay for us since his sophomore year. This year, we just didn’t give him a whole lot of support with our run production,” Carson explained. “He will do well at Chattanooga State if he throws hard and throws a lot of strikes. He is determined on the mound and is a fighter. When the situation gets tight out there, he just bears down and works out of it.”
Having watched Thompson for the past couple of years, Chattanooga State pitching coach Coty Green knew the Blue Raider was a pitcher his team needed to sign.
“I’ve been closely following Taylor for the last two years, and I’ve seen him about four or five times. When I’ve seen him, he’s gone out there and competed well,” Green stated. “We feel like at the college level, he is really going to come in and compete with more than two pitches, be able to get out there and fill it up and throw strikes. He will really give us what it takes to win games at our level of play.”
While the Tigers finished fourth in their conference and had a “down year” according to Green, things should turn around in their next season.
“We’ve got all of our good hitters coming back and our top two freshmen back on the mound, so we feel like this year will be a good year for us, kind of like our 2010 World Series year hopefully,” Green explained. “We had a lot of freshmen come in last year and we have a lot coming in this year, so there will be a lot of competition. We feel that competition promotes a good atmosphere and we think that Taylor will get out and compete well for us.”
Thompson’ was 3-3 from the mound during his senior year, and in the regular season he had a 1.60 ERA and some 70 strikeouts.
“I think what they liked the most about me is the control portions of it. I can throw two pitches with good control and that’s always a good thing, if you have an extra pitch other than a fastball that you can control,” Thompson commented. “I’m looking to go in and master my change-up next. I’ve got some things to work on and I think that this is the place that I can do that at.”
The “Chatt State”-bound pitcher knows that his stint with the Tigers is just the start, and hopes to advance to Division I play as well as advance in his studies.
“This is a steppingstone and a great place to start. After two years, I would like to go D-I and get signed with a university,” Thompson stated. “I want to be a nurse practitioner and plan to get my RN at Chattanooga State and then go on from there.”