Sam Carpenter has spent his entire life with the greatest book of baseball knowledge by his side.
Cris, a former first-round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals, is Sam's father and biggest fan, although, his mom Jane, might say otherwise.
The former Gainesville and current Piedmont Lions' starting pitcher says his dad is free-flowing with the advice.
"It's awesome because it's nonstop," he said about his father's advice. "We'll just be sitting at the dinner table one night and spark up a conversation about what I need to be more consistent with. That's the good thing about having him at home. He's installed something in me where I'm never satisfied with an outing. That no matter how good you did or how well you pitched, there's always something that you can improve on. The impact he's been in my life and in my baseball career has been amazing."
With the closure of colleges and universities across the state due to the outbreak and spread of COVID-19, Sam finds himself finds himself trying to focus on staying in shape and his online college assignments on his own.
He says it's different and something that he has to get used to doing.
"You have to constantly remind yourself of all you have to do with school work because you're not going to class anymore and not in touch with your teachers as much," he said. "So it's more on you, and it's a little different.
Carpenter was 2-1 in five appearances this season, including an 11 strikeout performance against Brevard in February. His 0.80 ERA is the lowest on the team.
Then the shutdown happened.
"We felt great as a team," he said. "We had a tone of young guys. It was going to be an exciting year. We were a young team and hadn't found our true identity yet. It was sad that it got cut short because there's no telling how far we would have gone."
Thanks to the recent ruling by the NCAA, Carpenter will get to play a complete senior season.
The NCAA ruled on Monday to permit Division I spring-sport athletes — such as baseball, softball and lacrosse players — who had their seasons shortened by the coronavirus pandemic to have an additional year of eligibility.
"I was pumped (when I first heard it)," he said. "I immediately called one of my teammates and told him I was going to take it."
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