DOBSON — Cole Fowler of Surry Central has committed to play baseball at Lenoir-Rhyne University next season.
The senior catcher signed a letter of intent at the school on Wednesday afternoon. Fowler received a partial scholarship.
Fowler had received attention from Greensboro College and a few other schools, but Lenoir-Rhyne proved to be the best fit.
“I really liked the coach, Tom Fleenor. The campus was really nice, and I liked the field,” Fowler said.
Fowler, 18, has played baseball all four years at Surry Central, three on the varsity team. He has caught ever since he played Little League ball in Dobson.
Through 13 games this season, Fowler is hitting .386 at the plate. He leads the team in hits with 17 and is tied with Samuel Harris for the lead in RBIs with 15. The right-hander has also posted a 2-1 pitching record this season.
The Eagles are 7-6 overall on the season and 3-1 in Western Piedmont Conference play. Central is scheduled to play in the Southern Lee Easter Tournament today, Friday and Saturday. The Eagles open with Western Harnett today at 4 p.m. in Sanford.
On Wednesday, Fowler was joined by his family, coaches and Eagle teammates.
“We are proud of him to get the opportunity to play at the next level,” dad Barry Fowler said.
“His dreams are our dreams,” mom Gina Fowler said. “He’s been playing since he was four, playing tee-ball. He’s really worked at it.”
Fowler has come through in the clutch this season for Central, driving in the winning run during a 7-6 victory over Starmount in extra innings.
Going into Wednesday night, Lenoir-Rhyne’s baseball team had posted a 16-28 overall record, 10-17 in the South Atlantic Conference. Fleenor is in his first season as head baseball coach after six years at USC-Sumter. He started the junior college program at USC-Sumter and went 242-103 with the Fire Ants.
Cole Fowler said he is looking forward to quickly making an impact with the Bears. He hasn’t declared a major yet, but has an interest in physical therapy.
“It feels great,” Fowler said. “I have the next four years to continue doing what I love.”