GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL)- In our new digital series ‘High School Standouts,’ Digital Sports Reporter Michael Epps features local athletes with incredible talent, hoping to take that talent to the next level.
These are athletes that stand out both on and off the field.
This week’s High School Standout is Keylan Newton, a graduating senior baseball player at Greeneville High School.
Greeneville baseball player Keylan Newton performed in some big time moments as a sophomore.
“He logged more innings on the team than anybody for the standpoint of coming in and relieving like he did and I don’t think he started a game until he started the state championship game,” Greeneville head baseball coach Andy Collins said.
The Greene Devils beat Pigeon Forge in the 2018 sub-state game, then beat Riverside in the state championship game, both with Newton on the mound.
“I was pretty nervous I’ll say that but I was ready to go out there and try to win it for my team try to block out all the noise and focus on the batters,” Newton said.
“He was pretty lights out in that state championship game I do know this it was always good to have somebody to rely on,” Collins said.
Newton could certainly be relied on in his sophomore year, making a school-record 28 appearances with eight saves and an ERA under 2.00.
“I was glad that coach gave me a chance to start and prove myself because I was a relief that whole year and then junior year he made me a starter,” Newton said.
But the jump for him as a player came in his junior year, as he was voted conference co-pitcher of the year with a record of 10-1.
“I know we didn’t win a state championship last year but he did just as good if not better,” Collins said.
He was expected to have a massive senior year, already recording nine strikeouts in 12 innings of work, but Greeneville only got to play six games before the season was cut short.
“I was hoping, it looked pretty good at the beginning we were playing pretty good hitting pretty good all pitchers looked good and it sucks it had to end,” Newton said.
Newton is headed to the University of South Carolina Beaufort, and will look to make an immediate impact.
“I’m ready to get down there and work and hopefully get a starting position I like that it’s on the beach and it’s a family first environment and that’s really what I was looking for,” Newton said.
He knows those big time moments early in his career are still paying off.
“A lot of people watching, a lot of sound, just had to block it out and throw my game,” Newton said.
Follow this series throughout the year as WJHL’s Michael Epps finds the High School Standout every week on WJHL.com.