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Sunday May 31st, 2020 6:51AM

Lakeview's Estes back on the market after Furman drops baseball

By Bo Wilson Sports Editor
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Some might meditate, some might workout, and then there's those that go fishing to clear the mind. 

Andrew Estes hit the lake with some friends to clear his mind after receiving the crushing news that Furman University had dropped the baseball program. 

The Lakeview Academy slugger was set to take his spot on the Paladin baseball roster next spring. Now, he'll have to look elsewhere after the South Carolina school cut the baseball program due to budget constraints caused by COVID-19. 

"Right after it happened, I told my dad that I still needed to go fishing with my buddies," he said. "I needed to go fishing and clear my mind."

Estes is back on the market and seems to be a hot commodity around the baseball world. He said within three hours of hearing from the Furman athletics department, his phone already was ringing. 

"We were out on the boat when I received my first phone call," he said. "I've received a few phone calls now from different colleges at different levels. I'm not expecting to make a decision too soon, but it could be a quick decision."

Estes said he was in "total shock" when he first heard from the Furman administration. 

"I was just like this can't be real," he said. "I said there's no way they're cutting the team. I didn't even think that was an option. So, I guess, my first reaction was just the initial shock of it all. Then I got a little emotional. I talked to my dad and calmed down a little bit, but it was emotional."

Estes says all options are on the table and will continue to stay positive as he begins anew with the recruitment process.  

"I want to play college baseball wherever I can," he said. "I've opened my recruitment back up. So, I guess at this point, I just wait a couple of days. Let the whole Furman thing settle down as well as see if I receive any more offers or phone calls and go from there."

But there is light at the end of the tunnel for Estes. He said he was kind of lost at first, but as schools started calling, he began to feel better. 

"I started getting in touch with my travel coaches, my high school coach and I started receiving a few more phones," he said. "It started building my confidence just a little bit. With everything going on, it definitely makes you feel good that there are some roster spots available and some money left. It was definitely some good news."

Estes' high school stats speak for themselves. When COVID-19 cut his senior season short, Estes was batting .433 with a .541 on-base percentage from the lead-off spot. He had driven in 11 RBIs and helped the Lions to a 7-2 overall record and a No. 6 ranking in Class A-Private. 

He ended his career with a .388 average at the plate, ripping 107 hits, scoring 90 runs, driving in 51 RBIs, stealing 31 bases and a .503 on-base percentage. 

He also was pretty good on the mound, pitching 125.2 innings, with a 1.95 ERA and 132 strikeouts. 

"We were on the bus coming back from Athens Christian, talking about it, and a couple of my senior buddies said this could have been our last high school game," he said. "And just like that, it kind of hit me that it could be our last high school game. Even though I was going on to play college baseball, high school is an end of an era. I was excited to get this last season because we had so much good stuff going on for us."

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