April 22, 2014

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

Tanner Scott is no easy out at the plate.

The John A. Logan College sophomore is following up a freshman season in which he batted a spectacular .380 with another solid campaign this spring.

In 38 games played to date, Scott has posted a .352 average...second best on the team to Culver Plant's .359, but leads the team in on-base percentage (.463), slugging percentage (.475), home runs (2), doubles (9), runs batted in (29), walks (23), and total bases (58).

"Tanner started off a little slow at the plate this spring, but has really picked things up the last few weeks," said JALC head coach Jerry Halstead.

Scott was recruited as a catcher, but has found himself a new home in left field.

"Sometimes, adjusting to a new position can weigh on your mind when batting, but it hasn't seemed to bother Tanner any. He has produced like we had hoped."

A Burlington native, Scott learned the game from his father as a youth and developed his hitting skills in the backyard.

"I had a batting cage and the only way I could skip any of my chores was if I was in the cage practicing," he said.

"So, I didn't mind that too much. It's not like I was forced to play the game. I enjoyed playing because it seemed to come naturally to me."

Scott said he played a variety of sports growing up, but eventually realized that he excelled the most at baseball.

"I've been dreaming of playing college ball for some time now and have really enjoyed these two years at Logan. It's been a lot of fun making new friends and playing the game I love."

Scott said he pretty much just clears his mind before stepping into the batter's box.

"See it and hit it is mostly my approach, although the game situation might dictate change," he said. "There are times when I will try to hit behind the runner to move them over, or other times I might try to hit a sacrifice fly."

Scott said that while his long-range plan is to transfer to a four-year school next fall, his short-term plan is to do what he can to help the Vols win games now.

Logan is 20-18 overall and 12-9 in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference, good for a third-place tie.

"If we can cut down on our physical and mental errors in the field; walk fewer batters; and hit better with runners in scoring position, we can beat anybody," Scott said.

Last year's GRAC Freshman of the Year said he plans to major in physical education for now. His mother and cousin also teach.

"Tanner has been a leader for us," Halstead said. "He leads by doing moreso than talking. And that's the best kind of leader. He has been an outstanding student-athlete here and we wish him only great success in the future."