RE: Mathews back to his start en route to CWSWhat does him being "devoutly religious" have to do with this anything else in this article or baseball in general?
Good luck to them though.
Jun 6, 2012
"Are you getting ready to take Mathews?," NC State head coach Elliot Avent probed.
Senior outfielder Ryan Mathews was learning about where he would be drafted during Wednesday's interviews before the Wolfpack headed out of town for the Super Regional.
"I don't need money," Mathews said, "just a chance."
Mathews made the most of his chance at NC State. Years before he was the Wolfpack's leading slugger, Mathews had committed to play for Florida, State's opponent in the Super Regional.
"I definitely never would have thought it would have worked out like this, to go back where it all started," said Mathews.
Mathews went to Florida in 2007 to play for coach Pat McMahon.
"And the day before I went there, he actually got fired," Mathews said.
Things shifted for Mathews when current coach Kevin O'Sullivan arrived.
"They ended up changing my position, and I really wanted to play right away early on in my career," Mathews said. "Redshirting was maybe an option, but I probably wasn't going to play a lot so I just asked for my release."
After stops at two other schools, Mathews evenutally landed at NC State, but struggled his first two seasons.
"Ryan battled some injuries," said Avent. "There were a couple of times when he was playing very, very well and a couple injuries would happen."
Everything changed this year as a senior. A first team all-ACC player, Mathews has 17 home runs. The rest of his teammates players have 25, combined.
"He's always done things the right way," said Avent.
"I feel like he hits a home run every time we need one," said teammate Trea Turner.
Now, the devoutly religious Mathews has one last chance to make the College World Series, one that takes him through Gainesville to get there.
"It's crazy," Mathews said. "I never would have thought something like this would happen, but I'm excited for the opportunity."