Central High School baseball's Harley Hinshaw always wanted a chance to play college baseball. With graduation on the horizon, Hinshaw won't be leaving the diamond any time soon.
The pitcher will get to play for Roane State Community College in Harriman, Tenn.
"It's something that I've always wanted, it's that next chance," Hinshaw said. "Whether it's something that's four years or not, doesn't matter it's just a chance, a shot that I have to go and keep going."
Hinshaw played a major role on the mound during his time at CHS. In 2019 as a senior, the Red Raider had a 2.55 ERA and 1.57 WHIP. Through 35.2 innings pitched, he had a strike percentage of 67 percent and a first pitch strike percentage of 72 percent. Hinshaw finished the season with 30 strikeouts and 11 walks.
"It's something that he set out to do. I feel he's got the work ethic and a passion for the game," Coach David Martin said. "He loves to compete."
The Roane Raiders play in the Eastern Division of the Tennessee Junior and Community College Athletic Association. Coached by Zach Sterner, Hinshaw was attracted to the program due to Sterner's background as a pitching coach. Hinshaw hoped this would help grow his game and open more opportunities to continue after his two years at Roane.
"That's the plan, to go two years and hopefully use that as a stepping stone and jump-off point," Hinshaw explained. "I'll be able to really use (Sterner) and he'll use me hopefully to better me so I can go on to the next level."
In the classroom, Hinshaw plans to pursue a degree in accounting.
While there will be lots of players competing for spots, Hinshaw said he was excited to get a chance to prove himself in the college game.
"I think I can out-compete them," Hinshaw said. "I plan on working really hard and making sure I'm gonna be a good asset there."
Hinshaw was thankful for the support of his parents, as well as to Martin and the rest of the CHS coaching staff. Other coaches that helped him get to this point included Rodney Meeker from his middle school years and Jeff Bennett, his pitching coach based in Mt. Juliet. Hinshaw was also thankful to God.
For his parents, getting to see not one but two children play college sports was a dream come true. Hinshaw's older sister Haley played two years of softball at Motlow State and signed to play her final two years with Tennessee Wesleyan in March.
"That's the biggest thing is just so that he has worked so hard for so long that he does get an opportunity," Jeff Hinshaw said. "I'm the luckiest parent in the world. Been very blessed to have kids that not only enjoy sports but love the game and are doing it right."