WITN Sports Spotlight: Tyler Bonds

Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 4:14 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2021 at 4:23 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - This week we shine the WITN / Pepsi Sports Spotlight on J.H. Rose junior left-handed pitcher and 3A state champion Tyler Bonds!

Over the weekend, Bonds helped the Rampants win their seventh state title in school history and first since 2008.

J.H. Rose swept Cox Mill in the best-of-three 3A state championship series in Fayetteville.

Game 1 Recap: https://www.witn.com/2021/06/27/jh-rose-baseball-takes-game-1-errors-pile-up-cox-mill/

Game 2 Recap: https://www.witn.com/2021/06/27/jh-rose-sweeps-cox-mill-claim-3a-baseball-state-championship/

“I never really had a feeling like [winning a state title], and I know it’s something special to Greenville,” Bonds told WITN Sports during a FaceTime interview Tuesday morning.

Bonds is currently in Chapel Hill for a week-long baseball tournament. Hence the FaceTime interview. Regardless, longtime head coach Ronald Vincent said he’s absolutely enthralled by Bonds’ impressive command.

“He knows how to pitch,” said Ronald Vincent, winningest coach in state history. “He knows pitching mechanics. He knows what pitching is all about, and he competes.”

This season, Bonds tossed 42 innings, compiling a 1.67 ERA, 50 strikeouts, just 8 walks, and only 10 earned runs allowed.

“He throws his best pitch at the best time,” added Vincent. “He’s not scared of the situation. He has a chance for a very good next year, too.”

Most notably, Bonds hurled a complete game, two-hit shutout against rival DH Conley in the state regionals.

State Regionals Recap: https://www.witn.com/2021/06/24/bonds-jh-rose-beat-rival-dh-conley-advance-state-championship/

“His breaking ball and his changeup are so good, and they all go different directions,” said Vincent, who’s been the head coach at J.H. Rose since 1974. “Greg Maddux would be a right-handed [MLB comparison]. Crafty left-hander.”

“Well, Greg Maddux is actually my favorite pitcher, so that’s probably my thing,” said Bonds when asked about his pitching style. “I don’t overwhelm hitters. I don’t throw it 90 miles an hour, so I have to do my job in other ways.”

“Tyler Bonds is a competitor,” added Vincent. “Tyler Bonds likes to win.”

So, after starting the season 4-4, Bonds and the Rampants ended their championship campaign with 12 straight wins, which is just incredible. What changed? Vincent answers that question, below.

NOTE: If you have a senior student-athlete or athlete that you would like to nominate as a WITN Sports Spotlight, please email a bio to Tyler Feldman at tyler.feldman@witn.com.

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