Living in the country and having a big yard helped Corey Stone’s baseball career.
Stone, who grew up in Prosperity, had a pitching mound and batting cage in his backyard where he and his father spent time developing his skills.
“My dad had a big role when I was younger. Teaching me hitting and pitching,” Stone said. “We spent a lot of hours there too. Hit my dad a couple times both hitting and pitching. He paid the price for it, but I thank him a lot.”
As Stone grew up, it became tougher for his dad to be his catcher so he started going to Mid-Carolina High School to work out. Those early years played a big role in Stone’s development and his progression as a baseball player.
Stone saved his best for his final high school season. The left-hander went 8-0 with a 1.02 ERA and 86 strikeouts in 61 2/3 innings pitched. At the plate, he hit .396 with three homers and 23 RBI, helping the Rebels to the Class 3A Upper State championship game.
Stone was named the Class 3A Player of Year, selected for the All-State and North-South Select Game and is The State’s Baseball Player of the Year.
“My senior season, other than not bringing home a state championship, was a good one,” Stone said. “I felt like I had a pretty good year on the mound and at the plate. It is obviously an honor winning any kind of award. None of it is given, it all has to be earned. Earning honors like that is always a blessing.”
Stone’s big year wasn’t finished, as the Texas Rangers selected him in the 27th round of the Major League Baseball Draft on Wednesday. But he is going to pass on playing professionally for now to play at South Carolina.
Stone believes he will have a chance to go higher in the draft when he is eligible in three years and hopes to make an impact immediately for the Gamecocks, who are looking to fill their head coaching vacancy.
Stone said the uncertainty of the coaching situation is difficult, but added he can’t wait to be part of the Gamecocks program.
“I’m looking forward to putting on a Gamecock jersey and playing in it,” Stone said. “I believe I can make a difference on the mound, bring that toughness and help the team win.
“I believe in the guys at USC and the class we are bringing in. We are going to be successful no matter who the coach will be.”