Hard-Throwing Lefty Scott Creates a Buzz

By Marc David

SCOTTSDALE, AZ. — For a baseball player that has thrown just 14 innings above Class A, Tanner Scott has certainly created a lot of buzz.

The reason is simple — lefthanders who throw in the upper-90 MPH range are sure to create a stir. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound former Howard College hurler needs to limit number of walks. However, Scott has the tools to become an effective left-handed relief pitcher at a time when hard-throwing southpaws are coveted.

Britt Smith saw it during his tenure as Howard College's baseball coach.

“When he came to us, he had good arm strength,” said Smith, his coach at the Big Spring junior college and now South Region Director at Perfect Game Inc. “His delivery was inefficient. He had a lot of pain in his arm. When we got his delivery efficient, there was not the same stress on his arm. When he cleaned it up, he was able to throw 97, 98.

“Had we had him for two years, he would have been more polished. It takes a while to adjust when throwing a ball. But by the end of the (one) year (he pitched for us), he was really good. That is why he was drafted so high.”

Scott acknowledged changes had to be made to his delivery. When he arrived at Howard, the Ohio native was a thrower who experienced intermittent arm pain. After one season pitching for the Hawks, he was a sixth-round draft pick of the Baltimore Orioles.

It was a rapid climb for an individual who didn’t pitch until his senior year in high school. After one season at Division II Notre Dame in the Cleveland suburbs, he played summer ball with the Midland Redskins Connie Mack team. His coach asked if he wanted to return to Notre Dame for his sophomore year. Scott answered that he wanted to give professional baseball a shot. The coach told him about a “good JUCO school in Texas that can help you a lot.”

Thus, Scott was on his way to the west plains of Texas, more than 1,400 miles from home. It was a decision Scott was skeptical about at first.

“Here I was in the middle of nowhere,” Scott, 22, said before a recent Arizona Fall League game. “They changed my delivery, and I started throwing harder. Britt was not only a coach but a pitching coach as well. He wanted me to be more consistent. I was set to go to Texas Tech (for his third year of college) when the Orioles drafted me.”

Scott’s velocity peaked at 98 miles per hour at Howard as a starter. The Orioles again changed his delivery as they groomed him as a relief pitcher, and he went from the mid-90s to touching 100 MPH. He said that during the recently completed season he reached 102.

Oddly, he was a starter in the Arizona Fall League, but he only threw two, three innings a game finishing 0-2 with a 6.32 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 15.2 innings. It was his second foray into the top-tier fall league that has featured many players who became MLB stars. Catchers Wilson Contreras of the Chicago Cubs and Gary Sanchez of the New York Yankees were in the league last year. Also, such former Howard players as Tyler Collins, Tyler Ladendorf, Pedro Villareal, Burch Smith, Zach Neal and Damien Magnifico were all AFL participants who saw major league action.

“I am very happy to be here,” Scott said. “They (Orioles) wanted me to get in more innings. It is a good organization for me.

“Going to Howard was probably one of the best decisions that I ever made. I was happy to visit coach and the team last year. I learned so much my one year there.”

Keeping Up

BASKETBALL

  • Peyton Little — Former Wylie player, a senior at Oklahoma, had 33 points and five rebounds as the Sooners went 2-0.
  • Brittany Brewer —  Former Wylie player, a freshman at Texas Tech, had eight rebounds and eight blocks as the Raiders went 1-1.
  • Allison Szabo —  Former Merkel player, a senior at Lubbock Christian, had 28 points, 21 rebounds and seven blocks as the Lady Chaps went 3-0.
  • Trejouir Wilson —  Former Brownwood player, a freshman at Tarleton State, had six points, five rebounds and four steals as the TexAnns went 1-2.
  • Shadd Cole —  Former Faith Christian School in Stephenville player, a sophomore at Howard Payne, had 12 points and 10 rebounds as the Yellow Jackets went 1-1.
  • Jeremy Ayers —  Former Wylie player, a freshman at Howard Payne, saw action in both games for the Jackets.
  • Micah Cisneroz —  Former De Leon player, a graduate student at Howard Payne, had 41 points, 15 rebounds, six blocks and five steals as the Lady Jackets went 1-1.
  • Emily Cullers —  Former Comanche player, a senior at Concordia, had a game-high 19 points, five rebounds and seven blocks in a win over Southwestern.
  • J.T. Harris —  Former Abilene Hawks player from Merkel, a sophomore at Dallas Baptist, had 30 points and four rebounds as the Patriots went 1-1.
  • Brayden Harris —  Former Merkel player, a freshman at Dallas Baptist, had two points for the Patriots.
  • Dejan Sencanski —  Former Abilene Christian University player had seven points as Rueil won over Angers BC in the French NM1 League.

FOOTBALL

  • Chase Varnado —  Former Stephenville football player, a junior at Tarleton State, had 62 tackles, including 13 for loss, and eight sacks and three forced fumbles as the Texans finished 5-6.
  • Ronnell Wilson —  Former Abilene football player, a freshman at Tarleton State, had 48 tackles, including two for loss, and one sack for the Texans.
  • Brant Bailey —  Former Eastland football player, a freshman at Tarleton State, caught 15 passes for 170 yards and returned two kickoffs for 15 yards for the Texans.
  • Taylor Massey —  Former Cisco football player, a freshman at Tarleton State, had 13 catches for 213, had two tackles and returned 22 kickoffs for 424 yards for the Texans.
  • Cord Norris — Former Coleman football player, a freshman at Tarleton State, had 20 tackles for the Texans.
  • Fred Lawrence —  Former Cooper football player, a junior at Angelo State, had 39 tackles and two interceptions as the Rams finished 5-6.
  • Kaimon Ontiveros —  Former Brownwood football player, a sophomore at Angelo State, had 16 tackles and one forced fumble for the Rams.
  • Tate Kennedy —  Former Big Spring football player, a sophomore at Angelo State, had three catches for 23 yards and one tackle for the Rams.
  • Gary Farquahar — Former Throckmorton football player, a sophomore at Midwestern State, saw action in the Mustangs’ 65-34 loss to Ferris State. He had two catches for 24 yards and a touchdown and one tackle as MSU finished 8-3.
  • Caisson Montieth —  Former Comanche football player, a junior at Howard Payne, was 95 of 191 passing for 1,163 yards and eight touchdowns and rushed 120 times for 554 yards and three TDs as the Yellow Jackets finished 0-10.
  • Isaac Sanchez —  Former Brownwood football player, a sophomore at Howard Payne, had 26 tackles, including three sacks, for the Yellow Jackets.
  • Justin Willis —  Former Comanche football player, a junior at Howard Payne, had 18 tackles, including one sack, for the Yellow Jackets.
  • Baylor Mullins —  Former Merkel football player, a senior at Mary Hardin-Baylor, had five tackles, an interception, rushed once for 3 yards and punted three times for a 43.0 average in the No. 2 Cru’s 50-28 win over Redlands.
  • Clayton Nicholas —  Former Cooper football player, a sophomore at Faulkner, was 245 of 380 passing for 2,802 yards and 20 touchdowns as the Eagles finished 6-4 and with three straight wins.

SOCCER

  • Luke Lopez —  Former Cooper player, a junior at Mary Hardin-Baylor, was one of five who started all 18 games as the Cru finished 11-6-1.
  • Sydney Hines —  Former Abilene player, a freshman at Southwestern Christian started 12 of 18 games and had one assist as the Eagles finished 5-13.

VOLLEYBALL

  • Kourtney Seaton —  Former Stephenville player, a freshman at Northwestern State, had seven kills and seven blocks as the Demons lost to Sam Houston State.
  • Morgan Seaton —  Former Big Spring player, a junior at Angelo State, had 15 kills, four blocks and five digs as the Belles went 3-0 to win the Lone Star Conference tournament.
  • Layne Little —  Former Wylie player, a sophomore at Texas A&M-Commerce, had eight kills as the Lions lost to Eastern New Mexico.
  • Margie Damstra —  Former Dublin player, a senior at UT-Permian Basin, was second on the team with 112 kills and led with 69 blocks as the Falcons finished 8-22.

BASKETBALL

Jack, Cisneroz cited

Hardin-Simmons senior Nathaniel Jack and Howard Payne graduate student Micah Cisneroz were named American Southwest Conference West Players of the Week.

Jack averaged 20.7 points, 12.7 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 3.7 steals as the Cowboys opened 1-2.

Cisneroz, a De Leon product, averaged 16.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks as the Lady Jackets went 1-2.

Shelstead mentioned

Abilene Christian senior Sydney Shelstead was named Southland Conference Women's Player of the Week. Shelstead averaged 21.3 points and 10.3 rebounds in the Wildcats’ 3-0 week.

Fast start

South Plains College opened its season with a loss. Since then, the Lady Texans have reeled off eight straight wins.

South Plains is coached by Cayla Petree, the former Cisco College athlete and coach, who is her second year at the helm of the Lady Westerners.

FOOTBALL

Two Wildcats first

ACU juniors Sam Denmark and Nik Grau were voted first-team all-Southland Conference.

Denmark, a linebacker earning his second first-team honor, finished second in the conference with 111 tackles to move within 63 of Ryan Boozer’s ACU career tackles record. Grau was 13 of 14 on field goals and 21 of 21 on extra points.

Cowboys’ trio terrific

HSU's Cory Ward, Alex Bell and Cooper graduate Jonathan Castaneda were named American Southwest Conference Players of the Year.

Ward was co-defensive award-winner, Bell won for special teams, and Castaneda nabbed freshman honors.

Among Outstanding Sportsman Award winners were Austin Williamson, HSU; Jake Hinson, McMurry; Balentin Carranco, Howard Payne; and Merkel product Baylor Mullins of ASC champion Mary Hardin-Baylor.

First-teamers on offense included Abilene High’s Reese Childress, Josh Maronski, Coleman’s JaQuan Hemphill and Bell, all from HSU. Defensive first-teamers included Cowboys’ Ward, Conlan Aguirre (Abilene High) and Nico Francino, as well as McMurry’s Decorian Johnson and Jordan Washington. Mullins also was honored. Howard Payne’s Jason Disney had the distinction of making first team on both offense and defense.

Ward, Mullins named

HSU senior Cory Ward and Mary Hardin-Baylor senior Baylor Mullins were named as semifinalists for the Gagliardi Trophy, presented to the most outstanding player in NCAA Division III.

Ward, the ASC co-defensive player of the year, had 111 tackles, 12 for loss, six sacks and three forced fumbles. Mullins, a Merkel product, is second on the Cru in tackles and leads with five interceptions and seven break-ups while also serving as the Cru’s punter.

Sims steps aside

Hunter Sims has stepped down as Howard Payne football coach after one season and will concentrate on his duties as the Yellow Jackets’ athletic director.

The former McMurry standout player was 0-10 in his one season as head coach after relieving retiring Roger Geise. Sims has been on the HPU staff since 2009.

Second-teamers

Two Big Country players were named to the all-Lone Star Conference second team. Former Cooper player Fred Lawrence, a junior cornerback at Angelo State, was named on defense. Former Eastland player Brant Bailey, a freshman fullback at Tarleton State, was named on offense.

Signature win

Houston wasn’t the only team to get a big win over a higher-ranked opponent last Thursday.

Arkansas State drilled 25th-ranked Troy 35-3. The Red Wolves (6-4), who have won six straight and lead the Sun Belt Conference, are coached by Blake Anderson whose first full-time position was coaching wide receivers at Howard Payne in 1994 when the Yellow Jackets won the TIAA title.

SOCCER

Jones elite

HSU junior Kami Jones is just the second ASC student-athlete to be named CoSIDA Academic All-America of the Year for a Division III sport.

Jones, who carries a 4.0 grade-point average as a double major in biochemistry and molecular biology, was previously named ASC Offensive Player of the Year. Joining Jones as a first-team Academic All-American is teammate Kirsten Parrish who has a 4.0 GPA as a biology major.

Roberts academic

ACU senior Kelsie Roberts was named first-team Academic All-America. A four-year starter for the Wildcats and first-team all-Southland Conference, Roberts has maintained a 4.0 grade point average through her first six semesters as a biochemistry major.

SWIMMING

Repeat performance

McMurry junior Robyn Remschel and sophomore Jerick Pena were named by College Swimming.com as Swimmers of the Week for the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference for the second time in three weeks. 

Remschel won the 100-meter backstroke in a season-best 59.42 seconds against Wayland Baptist and Texas-Permian Basin. She was also a member of the second-place 200 medley relay team. Pena won in both the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly.

VOLLEYBALL

Seaton selected

It’s been a banner season for both Morgan Seaton and Angelo State.

Seaton was named to the Lone Star Conference second team and was also selected to the conference All-Academic team which is for student-athletes with a grade-point-average of 3.3 or higher. Meanwhile, the Belles (28-3) entered the week ranked 13th in the nation.

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