Hendersonville rising senior Samuel Linn is hard to miss when he takes the mound.
Obviously, the College of Charleston coaching staff agreed.
The Cougars have secured a commitment from one of the tallest and most talented pitchers in Western North Carolina baseball.
Linn, who is 6-foot-8 and 165 pounds, was the Western Highlands Conference Player of the Year this spring. He and the WHC champion Bearcats (21-6) reached the best-of-three 1-A Western Regional series for the second consecutive season.
Linn was 14-1 as a pitcher with a 0.85 earned-run average and 134 strikeouts in 98 1-3 innings. His only loss was to two-time NCHSAA 1-A champion South Stanly.
Linn also played first base and third base and batted .235 with 14 RBIs for Hendersonville.
“I didn’t (commit) just to get all the weight off my shoulders,” Linn said.
“I just didn’t think the offer I got from (Charleston) could get much better, especially as an out-of-state student. This is a dream come true to play Division I college baseball.”
Linn throws a cutter, curveball and changeup. He admits that an extraordinary amount of innings the past two seasons (206 1-3 combined) have taken their toll on his velocity. The right-hander said his fastball has topped out at 88 mph but generally maxes out at about 85.
Linn is playing this summer for the Upstate (S.C.) Mavericks and will represent WNC later this month in the State Games of North Carolina tournament in the Charlotte area.
He is also in Minneapolis this week for the Perfect Game National showcase event along with Roberson rising seniors Braxton Davidson and Dominick Cammarata.
The Citadel, UNC Asheville, Western Carolina and William & Mary were among the other schools that Linn considered before committing to Charleston.
Bearcats coach Mark Cook said Linn sets a great example for the younger players in the Hendersonville program. His catcher, All-WHC selection Justin Sparks, is a rising junior.
“Whether it’s during the season, the fall or the summer, Sam is always out there working,” Cook said.
“Sam is such a great leader and someone to look up to. I’m real happy for him. I’m glad he made this decision. Now he can just concentrate on everything else he needs to do and enjoy his senior year.”
Linn is the seventh rising senior from WNC to make a college baseball commitment, joining North Buncombe’s Alex Destino (South Carolina) and Carson Jones (Appalachian State), North Henderson’s Zack Gahagan (North Carolina), Roberson’s Davidson (North Carolina) and Katon Harwood (Clemson), as well as West Henderson’s Storm Edwards (N.C. State).