Pitcher keeps his eyes on the prize

Junior Gavin Stone serves as a pitcher on UCA's baseball team. He started his competitive baseball jouney in high school and has been met with success during his time at UCA.

Junior Gavin Stone remains humble after success as a pitcher for UCA Baseball.

Stone is from Lake City, Arkansas, where he attended Riverside High School and earned the title of Most Valuable Player of the Arkansas High School All-Star game. Now in his junior year of playing for the UCA Bears, he earned the title of Southland Conference’s Pitcher of the Week after a no-hitter game against Southeastern Louisiana Lions, striking out 13 batters. 

Stone feels great about his accomplishments thus far. The junior has had a total of seven wins over his career at UCA, starting 13 games. 

“It’s awesome, it’s a great honor honestly,” Stone said. Stone credits his hard work to his personal and team accomplishments.

“We work hard everyday, we come to practice everyday ready to work hard and that contributes to what we do on the field,” Stone said.

Stone has family roots in baseball. He was inspired to play by his dad. His brother, Kolin Stone, is also a pitcher for Arkansas State University in his junior year. 

“[My father] loved the game and he taught me how to love the game,” Stone said. 

Stone said he also loves the excitement baseball brings.

Stone feels like he contributes to the team positively. 

“I feel like I contribute to the team by giving the team a good shot to win. As a pitcher, you just have to give your team a shot to win, and I feel like I do that,” Stone said. 

He also said his team has a good close bond. 

“We’re all brothers in this game,” Stone said.

Stone said this baseball season has been off to a good start, with the team having an even record of 8-8 up to this point. 

“We’ve played a bunch of good teams and I feel like we have a few hard [things] we have to figure out on the field but we’re getting there,” Stone said. 

He said a goal for this season is to win a conference championship. 

“Last year we came up one game short of the conference championship, so that is one huge goal of us — to get the championship,” Stone said. “My coaches push all of us to be the best that we can be, and they’re the best that they can be, so it’s up to us to do that for them,” Stone said.

Stone said some of the best memories he has had on the team have come from traveling from game to game. “Traveling wherever we go is fun with these guys,” Stone said. “Just being around the guys is awesome.”

He also said making it to the conference championship last year was one of his favorites as well.

After his career at UCA finishes, Stone has hopes of playing professional ball. 

“I’ve had a few scouts contact me, and hopefully that's the plan after playing here,” Stone said. Alternatively, if professional play doesn’t work out, Stone plans to go the medical route, being a health education major.

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