Stone graduate Pinkney signs with UNC-Charlotte for baseball
Former Stone pitcher Pinkney signs early to D-I UNC-Charlotte
Coming out of high school, the recruiting process was not easy for Carson Pinkney, who finished his senior sea- son in 2014 at Thomas Stone High School with a 6-1 record to go along with a 1.14 ERA and 39 strikeouts as a starting pitcher.
After receiving no NCAA Division I or II scholarship offers, Pink- ney decided to take a different route: junior col- lege.
Turns out that was the best decision for Pinkney, now a redshirt sophomore at NJCAA Catons- ville Community College, who recently inked his national letter of intent to Division I outfit Univer- sity of North Carolina at Charlotte to continue his baseball career.
“It truly felt like a dream come true to sign to a school that’s in the top-5 best conferences in the country,” said Pinkney, referring to the 49ers program which competes in Conference USA. “I’ve al- ways wanted to sign to a big school so all the hard work has honestly paid off and also just beginning again.”
Pinkney chose UNC-Charlotte over Divi- sion I outfits, Florida Gulf Coast University, Towson University and Division II’s St. Thomas Aquinas College (N.Y.).
“I chose UNC-Charlotte because I felt like I was going to reach my goal there and that is becoming a better student, player and all-around better person,” said Pinkney, who was an All-County first-team and All-SMAC second-team selection during his senior year with Stone. “Went out- side the city itself and it just has that big school feel that I always wanted. The baseball program has a very professional vibe.”
The former Stone ace, who took his official visit to UNC-Charlotte on the weekend of Oct. 13, felt like it was the perfect fit.
“I get to learn from a great pitching coach, in Coach [Shohn] Doty, who recruited and coached [Detroit Tigers pitcher] Justin Verlander at Old Dominion University,” Pinkney said, who will major in communications and minor in Spanish. “And UNCC also plays in a significantly strong conference. I loved the coaching staff, they treated me with an incredible amount of hospitality, put me in a nice hotel and took care of me. They have a lot of experience and knowledge of the game.”
Pinkney started his junior college career at Florence-Darlington Technical College (S.C.)
where he sat out in 2015, but exploded onto the scene the following year as a redshirt freshman as the team’s No. 1 ace in the starting rotation.
Under the direction of Florence-Darlington pitching coach Kyle Ward, the right-handed Pinkney struck out 63 batters on the season in 62 innings pitched on the season, including three wins and one shutout.
“That was great to see Carson go D-I,” Ward said. “From Day 1 he worked hard and I worked with him every day for two years. He went from throwing in the mid-80s in high school to now throw- ing in the low 90s. He al- ways asked questions and wanted to get better.”
After committing to Towson this past sum- mer, Pinkney left Flor- ence-Darlington Tech, but decommitted because of credit transfer issues and decided to go to Ca- tonsville.
Pinkney participated in fall ball with Catonsville and is excited to be play in the upcoming spring.
“Having college experi- ence will generally help me, but going to a big school like UNCC might overwhelm me at first,” he said. “But I think I’ll be able to adjust once I get into the routine.”
About taking the junior college path, Pinkney said, “It helped me tremendously. I was a little upset at first when I redshirted, but honestly it was the best thing for me. I came into JUCO and was only throwing 83, 84 mph and now I’m at 92 mph. JUCO definitely puts things into perspec- tives and makes you want to work harder.”
Pinkney, who is the only child, mentioned who has been instrumental during his baseball journey.
“My mom [Jackie Pinkney] and dad [Marvin Pinkney] have provided great support and I’m thankful for them,” said Pinkney. “My [late] cousin CP is someone that I looked up too and after he passed away I always pray to him before every start. Coach Ward has also helped me nonstop that last couple of years.”
2014 Thomas Stone High School graduate Carson Pinkney, pictured here during a fall league baseball game at Catonsville Community College, recently signed to his national letter of intent to play baseball at NCAA Division I University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
2014 Thomas Stone High School graduate Carson Pinkney, pictured here as a redshirt freshman at Florence-Darlington Technical College in South Carolina, recently signed to his national letter of intent to play baseball at NCAA Division I University of North Carolina at Charlotte.