WVU Tech has made local talent an emphasis across all of its programs.
Monday evening on the field where he played most of his home baseball games, Greater Beckley Christian standout Connor Miller added his name to that list.
Surrounded by family, coaches, teammates and friends, Miller signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Golden Bears.
“Being able to play at the next level is always something that I wanted to do,” Miller said. “I have worked as hard as I possibly could to be as good as I could be. Being able to play college baseball and get my degree while I am playing means so much to me.”
Miller joins high school teammate Reece Patterson on the WVU Tech roster, along with Isaiah Patterson from Beckley and Tyler Mackey from Shady Spring.
“Having a former teammate on the the team I think will help Connor and Reece both stay focused on what they need to do,” Greater Beckley head coach Drew Walker said. “They both live here locally and will be around family and friends who will encourage them.”
WVU Tech Strength and Conditioning coach Steve Crosier was on hand for the signing.
“We are extremely happy to get Connor into the program. It is an exciting time for WVU Tech baseball,” Crosier said.
Crosier is part of a coaching staff that has Miller excited to get started next season.
“I have had some great coaches throughout my career, but nobody at the college level,” Miller said. “Being able to play under somebody that has made it as far as they have, and has as many accomplishments as they have is going to be really good.”
Playing a tough schedule during his senior season, Miller led the Greater Beckley staff with a 3-2 record, averaging a strikeout per inning.
“He did really well pitching for us and we did play up in regards to competition this year,” Walker said. “He will be used to tougher competition and he should be prepared to go to Tech in the fall.”
Walker also thinks that Miller has some untapped potential and can be an effective member of the Golden Bears staff.
“I have coached him the last two years and he has been a big part of this program. Baseball in college is a whole different animal with studies, time management, practice and stuff like that,” Walker said. “He has room for improvement, he just has to be willing to put in the work. I feel like he will get with some of the (WVU Tech) coaches and they will help him understand the things he needs to do to succeed.”
One hurdle that Miller will not have to jump is getting adjusted to his baseball surroundings. WVU Tech will now play all of its home baseball games at Epling Stadium.
“I have played baseball at Epling for many years now,” Miller said. “It is going to be really cool to play on a field that I have called my home for so long. Going to a local school is a really cool thing.”