Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Berkeley Stags shortstop Connor Teague has committed to Newberry College during the early signing period, and will play baseball for the South Carolina college next year.
With the business of his next four years out of the way Teague can now focus on playing baseball for BHS.
“It’s a big weight lifted off my shoulders,” Teague said. “Now I can concentrate on winning ball games.”
Teague is one of the leaders of the Berkeley baseball team that won a District 7 championship when he was a sophomore and the school’s first region championship (7AAA) since 1960 as a junior.
This year, with the Stags returning just about everybody except Andrew Lockliear, Brandon Browder, Chris Wrenn and Josh Clarke, their sights are set a little higher.
“Our goal is to win it all,” Teague said. “We have our starting nine back, we have some great pitching and we have experience.”
Teague led the Stags in hitting in 2013, notching a .377 average with eight doubles and 20 RBIs. In the field Teague was third on the team with a .968 fielding average.
For Coach Landy Cox, Teague is his spitfire.
“Our coaches have put a lot of pressure on him to reach his full potential,” Cox said. “And Connor accepted the challenge and has turned out to be a solid player in our program.
“Connor treats every ground ball and every swing in batting practice like it is a game situation. To win 43 of the last 56 games you must have a solid shortstop and Connor has a big part in those wins.”
Many of those 43 wins over the past three years have put the Stags on the baseball map in South Carolina.
Last year the Stags fizzled out after winning 20 straight games to start the 2013 season. This year Teague is determined not to have that happen again.
“We have to stay a little more focused,” he said. “We were a young team back then and we might have been a little baseballed out. We weren’t mentally ready in April. This year we have the experience and the arms and we know what we have to do to win.
“I don’t think I did my best last year, I know I can improve,” he said.
At Newberry Teague plans to major in Biology with a focus on pre-physical therapy.
This 2014 edition of Stags baseball is the forerunner of future Stags teams. The program is deep and Coach Cox stresses building a championship program as opposed to a championship team.
Teague said it was nice to have some attention coming to Berkeley that’s not about football.
“It feels good,” he said. “Berkeley has been a football school for years. It feels good to change it up a little bit and get a new sport in there. It’s not just football, but baseball now, and softball, and tennis.”