Breaking the drought… Rouse baseball signing first for Hampton in eight years

Published 11:15 am Friday, April 17, 2020

Hampton baseball was off to one of its strongest starts in quite some time in the 2020 season with an early 3-0 record. A large reason for that was the pitching effort of senior southpaw hurler Dalton Rouse.
Rouse accounted for two of the wins from the hill as he had recorded 13 strikeouts in only seven and two-thirds of innings pitched. Making that mark more impressive was the fact that Rouse was still on the mend from a tender shoulder from the 2018-2019 campaign.
While not pitching, Rouse manned first base and at the plate had reached base seven times including three walks, three hits which included a two-run home run against Happy Valley, and was hit by a pitch.
Things definitely were shaping up for a phenomenal senior season for the Bulldog player.
That was before schools were forced to close and spring sports were left stranded on base due to COVID-19 and when the TSSAA announced that all spring sports would not be completed due to school remaining closed for the rest of the spring semester, Rouse saw his senior season cut short.
However, Rouse’s past prep seasons showed just what he was capable of doing as since his sophomore year, the lefty pitcher has recorded 110 strikeouts of opposing batters in only 70 and two-thirds of innings pitched.
That averages out to about 1.5 batters per innings pitched.
During that span, Rouse registered three complete games and one shutout during that span and compiled an 8-3 record.
With that kind of numbers, Rouse’s value didn’t slip past the radar of college programs. As a result, Alice Lloyd College in Pippa Passes, Kentucky extended an offer to Rouse and the senior Bulldog took advantage of the offer by inking his name to a National Letter of Intent.
Alice Lloyd is a member of the NAIA and the National Christian College Athletic Association.
With the signing, Rouse became the first collegiate signee since 2012.
“Dalton Rouse has been a good baseball player since he started playing the game,” said Hampton head coach Nicholas Perkins. “From his middle school career through his high school career, Dalton gave credibility to Hampton Bulldog Baseball.
“I say again what I told the Star in 2018 before he had some shoulder issues, Dalton is one of the best pitchers in Northeast, TN as it concerns actually being able to pitch and not just throw.
“With the bat in his hands, he began to really show in 2020 to be a hitter than can drive the baseball and consistently hit the ball hard,” Perkins continued. “If Dalton will work hard and be patient with the process, he could eventually contribute to ALC’s baseball program. I am very proud of him and happy for him.”
Rouse is the son of Jerry and Becky Rouse.

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