ELKINS – One of area’s top baseball players recently signed a letter of intent to continue his playing career at West Virginia State University.
Colby Gainer, who played for both Elkins High School and the American Legion Post 29 team last season, committed to the school earlier this month.
“I made the decision near the end of July,” Gainer told The Inter-Mountain. “I liked the campus when I went down there. I think it’s a good fit for me.”
During the summer months, Gainer posted exceptional numbers at the plate for Elkins Post 29. In 118 at-bats, Gainer hit .441 with 52 hits, 34 runs, 11 doubles, three home runs and one triple. He also drove in 43 runs and stole 10 bases.
On the mound, Gainer pitched 35 innings, going 4-2 with a 4.37 ERA. He gave up 21 runs on 29 hits and struck out 39 batters. He also picked up one save.
“I’ve always wanted to play college baseball,” Gainer said. “I like the challenge. I’m really going to have to work to get on the field. I’m going to have to refine what I’ve been doing and add some velocity to my fastball.”
Elkins Post 29 manager Chris George said Gainer has “all the tools” to be successful at the next level. He said when Gainer gets into a year-round program, he will flourish.
“He’s a very committed baseball player,” George said. “He’s a hard nose player that plays the game right. He’s no nonsense. He gives it his all. You get 110 percent out of him every game. He got better each year he played for us. I believe when he gets into a year-round program, he will really start to develop. He’s a diamond in the rough and I think he will turn a few heads in a few years.”
In May, W.Va. State claimed its first Mountain East Conference Baseball Tournament Championship in Beckley at Linda K. Epling Stadium by defeating Notre Dame College, Ohio, 4-1.