Baseball

West Henderson High baseball standout commits to ACC powerhouse

West Henderson High baseball standout commits to ACC powerhouse

In just his second year of playing high school varsity baseball, West Henderson sophomore pitcher Truitt Manuel is already getting a lot of looks from big-name colleges.

On Wednesday, Manuel announced on Twitter that he has verbally committed to Atlantic Coast Conference powerhouse North Carolina State, which made the College World Series this year but was eliminated due to COVID-19 protocols.

Manuel, 16, said after visiting with several colleges and coaches, he felt like N.C. State was the best choice for him and his family.

“It feels like an amazing blessing to already be committed,” Manuel said on Thursday. “I’m looking forward to being a part of the program. I really felt the connection to the spirit of the team.”

In his first season at West, Manuel, who also plays football and basketball at West, earned a spot on the Times-News All-Area Baseball Team after having 30 strikeouts in 16 1-3 innings. He had an ERA of 3.00, and he also hit .300 with nine RBIs, two doubles and a home run.

His father, West Principal Luke Manuel, was also a multi-sport in his high school playing days at West. He said his son’s travel ball also played a major role in him earning an offer from N.C. State.

“The process really took off this summer with his travel ball baseball team, 5 Star Carolina National. He pitched in several big tournaments in Atlanta, Orlando and Raleigh and performed well,” Luke Manuel said on Thursday. “Truitt has had many great people coach him throughout his time as a little league player, travel ball player, middle school player and now here at West.”

“My mom, dad and sister were super excited for me,” Truitt Manuel said.

Truitt Manuel comes from an athletic family. His father went on to play college football at Appalachian State University after graduating from West in 1995. His mother, Beth, is a Hendersonville High graduate and went on to run cross country and track and field at Brevard College.

Truitt Manuel said he’s excited to get back on the field with his West teammates in the spring.

“We have a lot of starters coming back, and JV players moving up, so it’s going to be an exciting season,” he said.

His varsity coach, Jackie Corn said Truitt is “a hard-working young man, with a great work ethic.”

“Truitt is not only a great baseball player, but a three-sport athlete who dedicates so much of his time to make himself better,” Corn said on Thursday. “He is always putting in the extra work to go above and beyond what it takes to be a great high school athlete. I am excited to watch Truitt grow over the next three years as a young man and also as a baseball player.”

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