Aaron Colen, Sports Editor, Aaron.Colen@chickashanews.com
Lane Smith, pitcher and outfielder for the Chickasha High School baseball team for the past two seasons, will continue his baseball career at Seminole State College after signing his letter of intent Thursday morning.
Smith was the No. 1 starting pitcher for the Fightin’ Chicks during the season in which the team returned to the state tournament, and he was also the starting center fielder.
After logging a .492 batting average, 52 RBIs as a senior, and seven home runs, Smith said he will be focusing on being an outfielder at Seminole. He went 9-2 with a 2.19 ERA as a starting pitcher this season.
Smith first came into contact with Seminole State College back in November, and visited the school in January. He said he had a good first impression from the school.
“I loved the campus there,” Smith said. "The coaches were great, the campus was beautiful. I just like the camaraderie they have there, it’s great.”
Seminole offered Smith a scholarship last month, and he said he plans to major in criminal justice during his time at Seminole.
Although his career at Chickasha High School ended in tough fashion, with a first-round loss in the state tournament to Claremore, Smith said he enjoyed the season and his experience with high school baseball.
“We didn’t end up where we wanted to, but it was a great season,” Smith said. “Coach Gore did a great job, and we bonded really well. It was still a lot of fun, and probably the best season I’ve been a part of.”
Smith played only his junior and senior years with Chickasha, after playing home school for the Oklahoma City Bronchos before that.
“Home school we weren’t able to compete with any of the OSSAA regionals and state, so that was a big difference,” Smith said. “But after last year, I adjusted to it, and then in this year had a lot of fun with it. It was a good adjustment.”
Seminole State College plays in the National Junior College Athletics Association, and had a record of 38-18 as of May 10, and was playing in the NJCAA Regional 2 tourmament vying for a national tournament berth.
SSC is coached by Lloyd Simmons, who is in his 27th season with the team. During his time, Simmons has coached 41 NJCAA All-Americans, and 165 of his former players have gone on to sign professional baseball contracts., according to the school's website.
Simmons has an overall record of 1,643-312 at the school, which is located in Seminole, Okla.