Sports Spotlight: Award-winning incoming J.H. Rose freshman Tate Pinner sets his eyes on baseball stardom

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 5:29 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - J.H. Rose High School has an athlete joining its ranks this fall that is a rising star on and off the field.

Tate Pinner says he has been playing baseball since he was three or four years old and is the only one of his three siblings to pick up the sport from his dad and grandfather.

Pinner has grown up in Greenville all his life, recently helping last season’s 13-year-old Babe Ruth all-stars to get within a game of the World Series.

“We won the state championship and then, in the regional final, lost to a real good Tallahassee team,” Pinner said. “We are looking to get back at them this year.”

Pinner is currently playing in the Babe Ruth League this spring and summer in Greenville.

“He’s got his head screwed on straight. When it comes to game time, he’s one of the most focused ones out there and it shows,” Pinner’s Babe Ruth Coach David Deena said.

Pinner is a team-first kid who baseball minds in Pitt County and beyond are starting to take note of.

“I realized very quickly that we needed to get this guy in the two or three hole,” Deena said. “He swings the bat a lot, he makes good contact a lot, a lot of line-drives, a lot of ground balls, and he hustles out every single one of them.”

Pinner confesses that although he’s been playing the sport for about ten years, he still hasn’t hit “a bomb.”

Pinner’s play earned him a special award at E.B. Aycock Middle School this month. He was recognized as the Frankie Kata award winner.

“Sportsmanship, grades, and being a good teammate on and off the field... just falling in love with the game I guess ‘cause the guy who passed away, Frankie Kata, I was similar to him in some ways,” Pinner said. “It means a lot to be nominated for stuff like that.”

After running cross country, playing basketball, and baseball, Pinner was named his middle school’s “Male Athlete of the Year.”

“It meant a lot... going into the year, it was one of my goals to accomplish, and when I heard my name called, it was a great feeling,” Pinner said.

Pinner is now heading to J.H. Rose in the fall with bigger goals for the Rampants and his career in front of him.

“I want to take a ring home for Rose and them. I want to take baseball more seriously and try to get into division one colleges and eventually get into the league one day.”

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