Polk athlete hopes to help growth of USC Union baseball program

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Micah Stancil is focused on building University of South Carolina Union’s baseball program into a conference contender.

He thinks Polk County’s Sedrick Pickett can play a key role in that effort.

The Wolverine senior signed a letter of intent Friday to join the Bantams program, making his verbal commitment official during a ceremony with friends and family in Polk County High School’s library.

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Pickett becomes the second Polk County player in the past two seasons to sign with a college program, joining 2018 graduate Holden Owens, now at Guilford Technical Community College. Like Owens, Pickett hopes starting his career at a two-year college will lead to an offer from a four-year school at some point.

But that’s a dream for another day. Friday was about Pickett realizing his biggest goal.

“I’m very blessed and very excited,” he said. “This is something I’ve dreamed about since I was a little kid. Now that it’s coming true, it’s awesome.”

The Polk County catcher hit .319 last season, with two home runs and 24 RBIs. But it was his defense and approach to the game that garnered the attention of Stancil, who took over USC Union’s program in May. 

“He’s a hard worker every single day and every single game,” Stancil said. “That’s what I’m looking for in guys who are coming out.

“He’s really solid behind the plate and does all the fundamental things right.”

Polk County head coach Billy Alm agreed that Pickett’s defense might be his biggest asset for the Bantams, who will begin their second season of competition this spring in NJCAA Region X after competing as a club program for several seasons. 

“His defense, definitely, is his strength. He’s a very solid backstop,” Alm said. “Obviously, the amount of swings he took last year at practice and talking about his approach at the plate helped his offense.

“He definitely blossomed last year. The weight program helped, too. He got a lot stronger before last season.”

Pickett said that he knew after his first visit to USC Union that he had found his college home. He verbally committed to the Bantams shortly after that trip.

“I like the atmosphere and the campus there. The coaches and all the people there welcomed me,” he said. “I really like that it’s a new program. 

“At the end of my sophomore year and start of my junior year, I realized this might could happen. There were some ups and downs on the road, but I tried to work hard every day and keep telling myself this could happen.”

– Submitted by PolkSports.com