Lane making an impact on the diamond despite different path

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The Marshall University baseball team has seen more success this year than it did last year.

At this time last year the team had an overall record of 8-18. Now, one year later, the team holds an overall record of 13-9. Despite the return of a strong pitching staff, the team has found success through its offensive production, especially via first baseman Tommy Lane.

Lane, a junior from Pendleton, Oregon, flew his talents to Huntington to start his Division-I baseball career, but Lane said his talent in the sport decided long before he did that baseball was the athletic avenue of choice.

“I’m pretty sure I started playing baseball when I was 3 years old,” Lane said. “I played basketball, I swam and I played soccer just like every other kid in America.”

In Lane’s hometown stomping grounds of Oregon, he thought he would always grow up to be in the rodeo, but when his talents on the field continued to shine there was no denying baseball was in his future.

“I played little league, but I was always going to be a rodeo person,” Lane said. “My family is really big into rodeo and I got to ride my horse, but then baseball just took off after that.”

Brittanie Fowler

Lane said he wasn’t always sure he wanted to make a career out of baseball, but when he received a scholarship offer by Marshall he said he realized he really wanted to start pursuing the sport further.

Despite his initial apprehensiveness, it was undeniable Lane’s baseball skills turned heads during his high school career. The 6-foot-7 infielder was selected to the all-state team two years in a row when he batted .477, recorded 11 home runs and was named conference player of the year.

However, Lane said his strength and commitment was tested his senior year of high school after he broke his collarbone in his last basketball game of the season.  He was unable to compete in his final high school baseball season which he said made him decide to play at a local junior college his first two years to make sure he was still capable of competing at the next level.

Lane ended up making a full recovery and excelled at the junior college level. He was named to the all-league team and first team all conference in 2015 after batting .316 and hitting 11 home runs. Lane’s ability to overcome his injury and still produce on the diamond paved his way to Division-I baseball.

“The league my junior college is in has a fall showcase that I got invited to which is where Marshall was when they came out and saw me,” Lane said.

Lane said it was a bit of an adjustment flying halfway across the country to play baseball because he was usually always close to home, but he said the move was worth it.

Lane is still new in his first season with the Herd, but he’s already making an impact on the program.

Although he leads the team in batting average (.337) and home runs (11), Lane said he’s not into the stats as much as he is about the team getting the win.

“I feel like whatever I can do to make the people around me better and help the team win is all I’m really worried about,” Lane said. “I don’t look at my stats too much. Just as long as we win, that’s all that really matters.”

The Oregon native still has another year left with the Herd, but he said if baseball doesn’t work out he plans on making something of himself with a degree in international business.

Brittanie Fowler can be contacted at [email protected]

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