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Lancers’ Petrey to play at USC Upstate

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Jordan Ribelin

 

USC Lancaster pitcher Tanner Petrey became the second Lancer to sign on for next season at USC Upstate, joining fellow USCL pitcher Tyler Jackson.

Achieving a Division I roster spot has been a long time coming for Petrey.

Petrey, a 6-2 right-handed pitcher from West Columbia, signed with the Newberry Wolves out of high school.

His time at NC was short-lived, and he was forced to transfer to USCL before redshirting in 2013 to rehab from Tommy John Surgery.

Tommy John Surgery is worst-case scenario for any pitcher, especially one trying to earn his place on a college team.

“Having Tommy-John Surgery is probably the worst thing that can happen to a pitcher, but I’ve dealt with adversity my whole life, and this was just another stepping stone to reach my goal,” Petrey said. “My mother was there for me the whole way.”

Petrey said he believes he and Jackson can be very effective.

“Yea, I’m pretty pumped about playing with Tyler,” Petrey said. “Hopefully, we can be a good 1-2 punch like we are here.”

When it comes to USCL coach Steve Williams, the players’ opinion seems to be unanimous.

“Coach Williams has been in my corner since Day 1,” Petrey said. “I love that man to death. He helped me become a better player and man.”

Petrey says the USCL faculty cared more about his success and where he would move after two years here, than at Newberry.

“Newberry is a small school like USCL,” Petrey said, “but here the professors know your goal is to move on after two years and they really want to see you succeed.”

Now that Petrey has made it back from his surgery and signed with a Division I program, he’s looking forward to winning. 

“A Division I school was always a dream of mine. The pitching coach at Upstate coached me at Newberry, so we are real close,” Petrey said. “I think I can bring positive things to their program. I want to win and be successful. I feel like Upstate is a place where Tyler and I could do that.”