Beale signs with Randolph-MaconPublished 11:12pm Friday, March 7, 2014
Nansemond-Suffolk Academy senior baseball standout Greg Beale brought an extended college selection process to a close recently by committing to play for and attend Randolph-Macon College.
It was the fulfillment of a goal he said he first realized might be attainable when he played for the Amateur Athletic Union travel ball team known as the Tidewater Drillers from age 9 to 13.
Beale, a strong student, held interest from a variety of schools for both academic and athletic reasons, including the University of South Carolina and Colorado School of the Mines. But he explained why Randolph-Macon and the Yellow Jackets were his choice.
“They really made the effort to talk to me a lot,” he said. “Coach C.J. Rhodes, one of their assistant coaches, really called me and wanted to make a relationship with me and more than almost any other team had done prior to that.”
Saints head coach David Mitchell said he was “just real excited for (Greg) and his family,” and elaborated on the selection process.
“The process has been ongoing for a while now, and he kind of set a date of the end of February that he would make a decision before our season actually started here at NSA, and he stuck to that, and even up through two weeks ago was still receiving interest from other schools,” Mitchell said.
The coach recalled that back toward August 2013, Beale started receiving quite a bit of interest, and then he went to a showcase held by the Peninsula Pilots, a team Mitchell helps coach.
“They bring in college coaches from across the east coast from Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and basically high school kids get a chance to work out on the weekends in front of those coaches, and he did well,” Mitchell said of Beale. Addressing the miles per hour on Beale’s pitches, Mitchell said, “He was 85, 86, he touched 87, and drew a little bit more interest.”
One of those schools was Marymount University, where Beale went to visit.
Mitchell said, “Typically, 87, 88 (mph) for a right-handed pitcher is kind of a determining factor whether a Division I school looks at a pitcher or a Division III school, and Greg was hovering right around that line.”
While some Division I schools made some initial inquiries to Mitchell, the Division III schools, like Randolph-Macon, Marymount and Hampden-Sydney College, proved to have the most interest.
The size of Randolph-Macon is something that appealed to Beale.
“Of course, Randolph-Macon’s not very big, but that’s kind of what I’m used to here at NSA, similar class sizes and of course academic options they offered were in line with I wanted to do in the future,” he said.
He is considering a major in the realm of engineering or physics.
Mitchell expects Beale to pull double duty on the field for the Yellow Jackets.
“They’re recruiting him as a pitcher, but I’ve told him and his parents, I think he can be a two-way player,” he said. “I think he can pitch for them and play in the outfield. Greg runs well, he’s tall, he’s athletic, he swings the bat well, I think he can be a two-way guy.”
But he admitted that if Beale comes on strong right away as a pitcher, they may choose to keep him in that role.
Beale still has his senior season of high school ahead of him and has set some goals for his freshman year of college baseball.
“At the next level, there’s going to be a lot of good kids,” he said. “You have fall ball before you have the official college season in the spring, so I’m probably going to go into fall ball looking to evaluate where I’m at compared to everyone else … so I’m just going to try to compete as best as I can to get some playing time in the spring, of course.”