New Franklin senior Tyler White had several reasons for selecting North Central Missouri College in Trenton on a baseball scholarship for the next-two years.
Although the senior standout has yet to finish his high school career for the Bulldogs, he said he has worked his entire life towards this goal and believes he owes it to himself and those that have helped him to play at the highest level.
“I believe North Central can help me get to the higher level,” White said. “Second, I really like Coach Hillerman and Coach Suttenfield and they did not have any promises except good school and tons of baseball, which is right up my alley.”
North Central Missouri baseball coach Donnie Hillerman said he likes White’s potential in a variety of areas.
“Tyler has great arm strength, he runs well and he is just a well-rounded kid,” Hillerman said. “He will have a chance to pitch for us on the mound and we see that he is versatile enough to be in the outfield and the infield potentially. We just like the potential.”
While playing only two years at New Franklin, White has definitely left his mark while hitting .469 with 53 hits in 113 at-bats with 34 singles, 14 doubles, one triple, three home runs and 27 RBIs. The senior standout has also walked 31 times and struck out just seven times for an on-base percentage of .619 and a slugging percentage of .861.
As far as a pitcher, the right-handed hurler has pitched a total of 74 2/3 innings and given up 29 runs, only nine earned, on 44 hits and 30 walks while striking out 119 batters for an ERA of 0.85. White, who is currently 9-2 in his career at New Franklin, also averages 11.23 strikeouts per seven innings while walking only 2.83 batters through seven innings of play.
New Franklin baseball coach Erich Gerding said ever since Tyler’s arrival at NF, he has helped to positively transcend the baseball program.
“He will no doubt be a great addition to the baseball program at North Central not only because he is a great ballplayer, but also because he is a great student and a great person as well,” Gerding said. “He has been a pleasure to coach and I am looking forward to accomplishing quite a bit this last spring season with him in a New Franklin uniform."
While earning all-conference, all-district and all-state in his tenure at both New Franklin and Exeter High School, White still feels like he has to improve on all aspects of his game to be successful at the college level.
“I just believe for me to impact every game I need to improve every skill I have,” White said. “The reason I chose the junior college level is because I am good enough to play, but while playing I can get bigger, faster and stronger and more skilled as well.”
Page 2 of 2 - White definitely has the skill while playing both shortstop and pitcher for the Bulldogs. Nonetheless, he said his short-term goals at North Central are to improve everyday and become the best player he can be.
“I want to use my baseball skills to help our team win a national championship,” White said. “That’s always the goal. It’s all about team and what I can do to help our team be great.”
White also has aspirations beyond North Central Missouri College. He said his long-term goals are to play at the highest level he possibly can.
“I would like to continue to improve and move from North Central to a four-year college,” White said. “I want to use my skills to move on to another school.”
While getting looks from Hannibal-LeGrange, Central Methodist University and Longview Community College, White said he would like to continue playing multiple positions at the college level.
“I will definitely pitch for North Central and I will also play third base or left field,” White said. “It will be twice the work to do both (pitch and play a position), but I definitely want and welcome that challenge.”
With only two years under his belt at New Franklin, White said the highlight of his career as far as team is winning the district title in baseball last year. Individually, he said he has reached many goals but playing with his younger brother, Tanner, and signing to play college baseball are the top of the list.
As far as the biggest influence on him in baseball, White said without a doubt it’s his dad.
“He introduced me to the game and taught me the ins and outs of every situation,” White said. “He made me the player I am. I felt his love for the game and that love definitely transferred to me.”