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Baseball  . 

Tyler Causey is Not Done Yet

by Brad Muller, Spurs & Feathers

Tyler Causey didn’t take the typical path to donning the Garnet and Black at Founders Park. Originally from Fort Mill, South Carolina, and growing up a Gamecock baseball fan, the graduate transfer corner infielder spent three injury-plagued seasons at North Carolina before thinking his playing days may be over and was out of baseball all together for a year. Like the fictional Roy Hobbs in “The Natural,” Causey is back in the game and thrilled to have another chance.

“My grandparents live over by Lake Murray, so I spent a lot of my childhood here in Columbia,” said Causey. “My dad and I used to come to games here a lot when I was a kid. It’s a pretty cool experience going from being a little kid going to games here and then actually being able to step on the field and play every day. It’s awesome.”

Causey was drafted by the Miami Marlins coming out of high school, but chose to go the college route, and had received an offer from North Carolina first, so he went to Chapel Hill. Unfortunately, things went south early.

“I tore my labrum in my freshman fall season,” Causey said. “I dealt with that during my freshman and sophomore years. I felt good going into my junior year, and then in the preseason I had some issues with my shoulder again. I tried to rehab it during that summer, and it just wasn’t happening. I had a lot of pain throwing.”

Causey entered the transfer portal after his junior year. Despite more rehab, his shoulder wasn’t getting any better, and he didn’t want to go somewhere else and not be able to play, so he hung up his spikes and finished his degree in economics at North Carolina.

“I was just going to see what happened with a chance of not playing baseball again,” said Causey, who is working on his masters in mental performance coaching. “I was just a normal student. It was very different. I was more focused on my academics. I knew I still loved baseball, but after dealing with my shoulder for three years, it was something that shut my hopes down.

“I had another surgery done last March. That took care of some things for me. I started throwing again over the summer and wound up here at South Carolina. I had worked out with a couple of pro teams over the summer and some video got out at a showcase, and (South Carolina assistant) Coach (Matt) Williams was the first to reach out to me. He was at Liberty at the time and ended up coming to South Carolina. Shortly after that, I got a call from (assistant coach) Monte (Lee).”

“Dealing with adversity can break you down or make you stronger. If you use it correctly, it can make you a better person.”
Tyler Causey  . 

The year away from baseball taught Causey a lot about himself.

“It helped me deal with adversity,” Causey said. “It’s something we all deal with throughout our lives. Dealing with adversity can break you down or make you stronger. If you use it correctly, it can make you a better person.”

Now healthy, Causey is going into his first season with the Gamecocks hungry for the opportunity to earn a spot on the field.

“I definitely have a lot to prove,” said Causey, noting that his ultimate goal is to help the Gamecocks reach their team goals. “I want to go to Omaha with this team. I want to win a national championship. I’m feeling great. I’m ready to go. This is something I dreamed of since I was a little kid. I’ve got to earn my spot, but it would be a blessing for sure.

“Coach Kingston called me ‘Roy’ in practice, and I was wondering why, but he explained it to me,” Causey added, noting that he had indeed seen the movie Kingston was referencing. “To be out of baseball for seven or eight months and not even touch a baseball was definitely a challenge. You have to build that confidence back up in yourself. I guess we’ll find out how it turns out.”

Go ahead and cue up the theme music from “The Natural” for his initial walk-up song.