Finest in the Field

NASH senior Cole Young, who committed to Duke University during his freshman year at NAI, has dreamt of playing baseball in the majors his whole life.

Waverly Younts, Senior Staff Writer

How old were you when you started playing baseball?

I started playing baseball when I was three. My brother and his friends would always play the game in the backyard. I would join in with them, so that is definitely what started my interest in the sport.

How did you know that Duke was the school for you?

I knew I wanted to attend a school where the coaching staff truly cared about the development of their players, and Duke’s baseball department does just that. I have always valued my academics and Duke felt like the right place to study. I also was able to tour the campus because I had tournaments nearby. Seeing the students there and walking by the baseball field confirmed that it was the school I wanted to attend.

When did you commit to Duke University to play Division I baseball?

I officially committed at the beginning of ninth grade. I signed the documents that guaranteed my enrollment on National Signing Day, which was November 10th.

What was the recruiting process like?

I first heard from the coaching staff at Duke during the summer going into ninth grade. They saw me play at some of my travel ball games and contacted my coach. As the process went on, my family and I started talking directly to the coaches. Virginia Tech and Pitt also showed interest in me, but as I got to know more about the baseball program and Duke University itself, I knew I had to commit.

What are you planning to study?

I plan to study economics.

Do you see yourself being a Major League Baseball player in the future?

Yes. That has been my dream for as long as I can remember. I will work as hard as I can to turn that dream into a reality.

If you could join any MLB team right now, which one would you choose and why?

I would join the Pittsburgh Pirates because I have grown up watching them from living in Pittsburgh. They have one of the best stadiums and coaches around. Plus, it would be amazing to play at the stadium I grew up watching games at.

What are you most looking forward to in your last high school baseball season?

I want to win a state championship because we were so close to winning one last year. We definitely have the talent to bring home the win.

What motivates you to perform at your best during practices and games?

My love for the game has always driven me to push myself to be the best player I could possibly be. Also, knowing just how much my parents sacrificed for me to be in the position that I am today taught me to never take my opportunities for granted.

What are some awards that you have received?

I was given the title of Class 6A Player of the Year in 2021 by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Trib Live High School Sports Network and won Rawlings Finest in the Field at the Perfect All-American game, which is the world’s largest baseball scouting showcase.

What was your experience at the Perfect All-American classic?

It was great being around the best of the best baseball players who are my age in the country. It was interesting to see how each person’s approach to the game was unique. Playing at Petco Park in San Diego was a dream come true. The game was broadcast live on television.

Other than baseball, what do you like to do in your free time?

I love hanging out with my friends and going fishing during the weekend.

What is your pre-game hype-up song?

I would have to say “Run This Town” by Jay Z. A couple of years ago, my team started playing this song before games and I still play it to this day.

Which member of the NA baseball team could you survive a week in the desert with?

I think I could survive a week in the desert with Aaron Posey. We have played ball together for a while now, so I think we have the chemistry needed to survive. He is always a fun guy to be around and has a positive attitude in most situations.

Which member of the NA baseball team could you absolutely NOT survive a week in the desert with?

Without a doubt, it would be Jack Baumgartel. He would be doomed without Snapchat. He can’t survive without his phone, so I doubt he would be able to focus on the task of surviving in the desert.

If you woke up tomorrow and baseball was not a sport, which sport would you want to play instead and why?
I would play golf because I have always admired the talent it takes to be a good player. I have played it for a while now but would love to get better at it.