Last Updated: Fri Oct 06, 2023 - 1:27PM
It’s always been Carson Shuglie’s dream to play baseball at the college level. Since the age of five, he’s worked diligently on his game so he can take that next step.
That hard work allowed him to make plenty of noise in the area, with his smooth swing and bat speed. The noise finally caught the attention of college coaches, and in particular, a local powerhouse.
The Spartans senior recently made his commitment to play baseball at Seton Hill University.
“I went on my visit last Monday there, and I got to meet the coaches and look around campus,” said the future Griffin. “I really liked everything. I loved the coaches and campus, and I played with a bunch of guys that are playing there now. It just felt like the right place to me.”
Finding that right place was not easy for Shuglie. He drew interest from Marietta College and Gannon University, but it wasn’t selecting the right school that was the most challenging part.
“I wish I knew that it’s much harder than what it’s made out to be,” he added. “You actually have to earn it to play in college. You have to do these little things to earn a spot at a school.”
There’s no question he’s put the time into his craft to get to where he is today. But he’s also been gifted with natural hitting ability, especially his power. He credits his work with weighted bats for the increase in his power and bat speed.
Shuglie had that strength on full display last season, as he belted seven home runs while driving in 24 runs and batting .339. Over a four-game span in mid-April, he went 5-for-11 with four home runs and 13 RBIs.
“When I was up there, I felt super comfortable,” Shuglie remarked. “I was sticking to my approach, just trying to hit it where it’s thrown. It felt good and got good results.”
With his college decision made and his continued work on his hitting, Shuglie can direct his attention to this upcoming season with the Spartans. Hempfield finished 12-10 overall last season, with a 9-7 record in Section 2-6A.
After a seven-game winning streak that spanned from April 4 to April 19, Hempfield’s season came to an end with a playoff loss to Pine-Richland, 14-12.
“We have to put in a lot of hard work this offseason,” he added about how his team can build on last season. “We have a bunch of returning seniors. As long as we buy in, we will be good.”
The season is still a few months away, but Shuglie wants to finish his high school career winning a WPIAL Championship. They’ve come close in recent years, but have fallen short of capturing the elusive title.
He feels that it could change this year with the personnel they have and the mentality they’ll bring.
“We have some younger guys that are going to surprise some people – I think,” he mentioned. “As long as we work hard, we definitely have the guys to do it.”