Corbin Ensminger Sports Editor
January 16, 2014
LAURINBURG — Two senior baseball players signed their letters of intent at Scotland High School on Wednesday to continue their careers in college.
Tripp McDonald signed with Pitt Community College and H.B. Stone signed with St. Andrews University.
Stone has played mostly at second base for the Scots, but also pitched last season when he was called up to the varsity squad as a junior. He will join SAU as a middle infielder next season where he plans to major in sports and recreation. He said he is planning to join the Coast Guard and then coach baseball.
The familiarity of SAU was also a factor in Stone’s decision.
“It feels like home. They have the same colors, and it’s in the same town,” Stone said.
SAU first became interested in Stone after watching him play in a showcase game with NSA out of Fayetteville.
He has been playing baseball since he was old enough to pick up a bat, Stone said, and the most memorable moment so far came when he was 14-years-old in a World Series game. There he was part of three triple-plays in the same game, one of which he did unassisted when he caught the ball, tagged a runner and threw the other out going to third base.
McDonald said he chose Pitt over Barton College, Wingate and Georgia State because of its proximity to the Greenville area, a place he is very familiar with. His sister will be attending ECU in the fall and his mother, Cindy McDonald, graduated from there.
McDonald said he hopes to transfer to ECU after playing for Pitt, a school that is known for helping players get to the next level. He has played outfield for Scotland and will continue to play that role at Pitt. McDonald plans to study to become a surgical physician’s assistant.
Both players said they want to leave Scotland as champions, a goal that starts with winning the conference. McDonald said winning the Southeastern title in his sophomore season has been one of the highlights of his time at Scotland, but he has set a personal goal for his senior year as well. Beat his father Chip McDonald’s batting average for his last year in high school, which was .383.
Scotland coach Jamie Coleman said he was happy to see that two of his players would keep playing the sport after they leave his program.
“I’ve been watching them for a long time as an assistant coach and then the head coach, Tripp since his sophomore year and Stone when he came up as a junior. It’s been a joy to watch them succeed and it makes me proud as a coach that they’re getting to play in college. Pitt Community College and St. Andrews are getting two guys who are not only good players but good people,” Coleman said.
Preseason workouts have already begun for the baseball team, and the first official day of practice is Feb. 12.