It was apparent early on that Calvary Day’s Will Hampton had a special talent on the baseball field when he was a freshman in the spring of 2021.
The southpaw has established himself as a star in all phases of the game as he posted a 1.35 ERA with a 7-2 record on the mound, while hitting .375 with a .911 OPS with 39 hits and 26 RBIs to help lead the Cavaliers to the state quarterfinals.
Hampton followed that up with another great showing in his second campaign, and college scouts became a constant in his life.
Hampton made his college commitment early last week, as the junior tweeted his plans to attend perennial NCAA powerhouse Vanderbilt.
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He had offers on the table from Baylor, Georgia State, Troy and Florida International University, and was attracting strong interest from Clemson and South Carolina when he announced his decision on Twitter.
“It all came down to Vanderbilt as a program and a school,” Hampton said. “It’s a beautiful campus in Nashville with one of the best college baseball teams, and it offers a great education. I loved the coaches, the players, and the environment there.”
Hampton, a two-time All-Greater Savannah first-team selection, said he was drafted as a first baseman and could play outfield for the Commodores.
“We are so thrilled for Will. Vanderbilt has always been his dream school, and now he has the chance to make that dream come true,” Calvary Day coach Phillip Lee said. “He’s such a talented player, and that’s what gets the first looks from big colleges. But that’s the way he carries himself every day. He’s a super hard worker and a brave competitor. he’s the guy who’s going to give you his best every day, whether in training or in a match.”
Vanderbilt introduces another player with left-handed Savannah roots pitcher Carter Holton, the Benedictine grad who earned freshman All-America honors after an impressive campaign last spring.
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Hampton said playing for Lee and attending Calvary prepared him well to take the next step when he starts at Vanderbilt.
“Coach Lee runs a great baseball program and the colleges are strong at Calvary Day,” the 5-foot-11, 195-pound Hampton said. “My teachers and coaches have helped me straighten up, be disciplined and get me on the right track. I’m close friends with Jake (Merklinger) and he’s on the same path with football, which has helped me. helped get the recruitment process done.”
Hampton said the recruiting process was a bit stressful, so he’s glad he got on board early. Now he’s focused on his final two seasons with the Cavs and working one-on-one with a personal trainer to improve.
Lee said he was looking forward to having such a talented player and leader on the team for the next two seasons.
“Will is so good at the plate – and he’ll be a positional player at Vanderbilt,” Lee said. “But he’s a southpaw who can throw in the upper 80s with great control of his three throws. I think he’s one of the best throwers in Georgia, so we’ll be happy to have him on the pitch as well. mound.”
Dennis Knight covers sports for the Savannah Morning News. Contact him at [email protected] Twitter: @DennisKnightSMN