Wilson Hall senior pitcher Tanner Epps will be pretty close to home as he gets a chance to continue his baseball career at the next level.
The right-handed Epps signed to play with Francis Marion University in Florence in a ceremony at Wilson …
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The right-handed Epps signed to play with Francis Marion University in Florence in a ceremony at Wilson Hall's Nash Student Center on Tuesday.
"It's really special," Epps said. "I've kind of always wanted to do it, so I'm excited I finally get to fulfill that."
Epps chose Francis Marion for several reasons.
"I had a couple options," Epps said. "But, I don't know, I really liked the campus, the school, the field, all the facilities and the coaches were really nice and inviting."
Epps did something this season to help his performance on the mound.
"I added new arm slots and stuff that kind of helped me get some of the better guys out, and I think that helped me a lot," he said.
Epps thinks his game will translate to the college level.
"I think I fit in well," he said. "I think I'll get a little bit of extra help just because we don't have a pitching coach here (at Wilson Hall) and I'll be able to, you know, increase in velo(city) or something like that and get some extra pitches or something like that."
Wilson Hall head coach Adam Jarecki is proud of what his pitcher has accomplished.
"Any time one of them gets to pursue their dreams, that's important, and that's kind of what we want them all to get a chance to do," he said. "So we're awful happy for him because he's worked hard and he put himself in position for this."
Epps played a vital role on a Wilson Hall team that had its share of struggles this past season.
"We had a young team and not a real good team this year," Jarecki said. "But any time he was on the mound, he gave us a chance. He was our No. 2 pitcher last year (2018), so we've gotten a lot of innings out of him in the last two years, and he's done well for us, especially on the mound."
Jarecki believes Epps has some intangibles that will help him down the road.
"He's got a good attitude and, you know, he works hard and does everything extra that he needs to get ahead," Jarecki said.
Epps' mother, Keisha Epps, is also happy with what he's done.
"We're just super proud of him," his mother said. "He's worked hard and overcome a lot of obstacles. I played ball in college, and so I think it'll be an experience for him that he'll never forget."
His mother thinks her son's struggles helped him in the long run.
"I think this year at school was kind of the toughest year he's ever had to go through," she said. "So, gradually, he got better. He really hasn't even reached his full potential. But, this year at school, Coach Jarecki can tell you, it was a growing season for Wilson Hall, and I think Tanner felt a lot of the pressure to carry the team and I think it helped grow him more as a person, really, than a baseball player. Which I think will carry over well when he goes to Francis Marion, and in life."
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