Bobcat Ace Becomes Most Recent Columbia State Signee
Giles County pitcher Blade Matthews made the decision official Thursday, signing to play the first two years of his college career at Columbia State during a signing at Giles County High School.
Matthews is the second Bobcat pitcher to sign to a college program, joining fellow district starter Tucker Duke, who recently signed to Huntingdon College. Matthews has been a district starter each of the last two years, establishing himself as the team’s top pitcher as only a sophomore before leading a much improved staff in his junior campaign.
“He has put in the time, he has put in the effort,” said GCHS head coach Dustin Hill who has coached Matthews for three seasons. “He was our number one his sophomore year, so he’s held onto that role. Guys have gotten bigger. Guys have gotten stronger. We got in a tougher district, and he has stepped up his game every single year, and I’m looking forward to him having another great year his senior year.”
Hill referred to Matthews as a bulldog on the mound multiple times in preseason interviews, and Columbia State head coach Mike Corn agreed noting that the younger right-hander’s competitive drive was one of the things that drew the staff to the local prospect.
“It’s always exciting when we find a young man in the Southern Middle Tennessee area who fits what we’re looking for, and it’s not always just how good of a player they are,” Corn said. “Does it fit a need for that year’s recruiting cycle. We’re graduating several pitchers, and Blade is a competitive, athletic guy on the mound, which is what we look for.”
Matthews will be the third player to play for a Corn coached team joining former pitcher Rob Holley who was a part of Corn’s first team in 2010 as well as Taylor Gilbert more recently who joined the program but was injured, according to the coach.
Matthews said he is excited for the opportunity but is now focused on the task at hand of helping his high school team focus on a potential state championship run. He added that he was recruited as a pitcher and will focus exclusively on pitching at Columbia State after a successful career at the plate and in the field at Giles County.
“It means everything,” Matthews said of signing. “That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do since I was a little kid is playing baseball at the next level. It means the world to me.”