In Little League or high school, Rayne Supple usually provided the winning stuff.
He hopes to keep that going at the next level.
The Champlain Valley Union junior baseball player gave a verbal commitment to Wake Forest University, a Division I school that plays in the powerful Atlantic Coast Conference. Supple, who visited the school last week, made his decision Monday night.
Supple led Shelburne’s 11- and 12-year-old Little League All-Star team to the state title in 2010 and was the winning relief pitcher in CVU’s epic, extra-inning victory in the Division I championship game in June.
Competing for an ACC school is part of Supple’s long-term baseball plans.
“I just want to keep getting better and keep chasing my dream,” said Supple, who turned 16 in August. “It’s a good opportunity to excel at the next level and see good competition going forward.”
CVU baseball coach Tim Albertson said he was happy for Supple.
“(Supple) and I actually spoke when he got back from Wake Forest on Sunday,” Albertson said. “I asked him what the biggest positives and biggest negatives were and he had a tough time coming up with a negative.”
North Carolina, Clemson, Boston College and Virginia were also on Supple’s list of choices. But Wake Forest was the best fit, he said.
“I really fell in love with it,” said Supple of his campus visit. “They don’t over-recruit and are not going to cut you last minute.”
Supple said he will primarily be a pitcher at Wake Forest, but might develop into a field-position player, too. The Demon Deacons went 28-27 overall and 9-20 in league play last year under coach Tom Walter, who donated one of his kidneys to a player in 2011, according to the school’s website.
With a variety of pitches, including a fastball that has reached at least 90 miles per hour, Supple struck out six in six no-hit innings of relief as the Redhawks outlasted Essex 4-3 in 11 innings in the longest D-I final in Vermont Principals’ Association history.
But it was his focus in overcoming five walks that impressed Alberston.
“His composure during that time was amazing. That stands out more in my mind,” Albertson said. “That really states a lot about his character, that he can stay in the moment.”
With two more years at CVU, Supple will head to Wake Forest in the fall of 2015.
Source: Alex Abrami, Burlington Free Press