Lambert baseball’s Turner Scruggs made his college choice Wednesday afternoon, accepting an offer to play for Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C.
Scruggs, a rising senior and twin brother of teammate Parker, chose Winthrop over an offer from Presbyterian College, a smaller, private school in the palmetto state.
“I had two offers. I chose Winthrop because they recruited me since the beginning of last summer,” Turner said. “I really like the coaching staff, especially the pitching coach, and everything about the program, really. The facilities are nice. It felt like a good fit.”
Winthrop had one of the better mid-major baseball teams in the country last season, compiling a record of 40-19 that was second best in the Big South Conference, which sent league champion Radford (45-16) to the NCAA baseball tournament.
Scruggs will hope to improve a pitching staff that, despite the team’s overall success, had a middle-of-the-road ERA in 2015, giving up just over five runs per game.
The 5-foot-8 right-hander held down a 2.84 ERA last season for Lambert, throwing 24 1/2 innings in 10 appearances (four starts) with 23 strikeouts against 10 walks and 10 runs.
“The coaches said they really liked my approach on the mound—my confidence level, mostly. I work fast, I get the job done, and I compete. But there will be things we work on for sure,” Scruggs said.
As a shorter pitcher, Scruggs will also focus on balancing a lower-velocity fastball with effective off-speed pitches.
“I definitely think opponents look at me and think, oh, this will be easy,” Scruggs joked. “It’s harder to get velocity as a shorter guy, but as long as you have the pitches and the confidence you can compete.”
Scruggs also received recruiting attention from Army, Dartmouth and Kennesaw State, and received later recruiting attention from Georgia.
In the end, he felt like Winthrop was the best fit, and was comfortable with making the commitment in the summer before his senior season.
“It’s a relief to get this out of the way,” Scruggs said. “I’ve always wanted to play college baseball. Finally, getting the recruitment out of the way, I can work hard on this final high school season. We want to go after another state championship for sure.”
Lambert won the state title against Milton in 2014 before falling to the Eagles in the first round of the state playoffs this past year.