Jun 18, 2013
Omaha, Neb. — While it is the ace on the North Carolina State pitching staff who has been garnering all the headlines lately, it is the undrafted anchor in the middle of the Wolfpack lineup who has been providing the run support.
Senior Tarran Senay has been driving runners in at a torrid pace during the NCAA College Baseball Tournament and providing an offensive spark from the clean-up spot. It is nothing new, as the converted first baseman has been leading the offensive charge all year for the Wolfpack, yet somehow, he has gone unnoticed two consecutive years in the MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Senay is tied with Florida Atlantic’s Corey Keller with 10 RBI this postseason after notching a run-scoring single in the first inning of Sunday’s win over UNC. And with the Owls already eliminated, Senay is likely to surpass Keller.
He has recorded at least one RBI in five of the six games the Wolfpack have played since the field was trimmed to 64 teams, adding to his team-best 49 RBI from the regular season.
“I can only attribute that to the guys in front of me,” Senay said. “There is no different approach in the postseason, you just have to be better at what you are doing.”
Senay, in addition to his 10 postseason RBI, has scored four runs, accounting in some form for 45 percent of the 31 runs by the Wolfpack since May 31. He is also batting near .300 and highlighted this postseason with a 5-RBI game against William & Mary in the regional.
And when things are going good, the ball seems to find space. On Sunday, his first-inning hit was a near excuse-me swing that dropped in the outfield grass. But Senay has been told not to hold back, regardless of the count.
“(Head coach Elliott Avent) doesn’t want to see me shorten up. He wants me to swing hard every time,” Senay said. “The strikeouts will come, but so will the hits.”
Senay is third on the team in hits and second in total bases on the year. He also leads in home runs. But in Omaha, at the spacious TD Ameritrade Stadium, Senay isn’t looking for the long ball, he is simply looking for good, quality at-bats.
“There’s not going to be many home runs here,” Senay said of the park that has relinquished just one through the first four games. “I look for a fastball, middle-in, first pitch every at-bat. Other than that, I’m comfortable going deep into the count.”
Senay was a top-100 prospect coming out of high school in South Park, Pa. An ESPN article published in 2009 said, “In a few years, Tarran Senay could be a millionaire.” Senay, then an outfielder, third baseman and pitcher, was a possible first-day pick. He slipped to the 38th round to the Detroit Tigers, however, and opted to accept the scholarship at NC State.
Since then, it has been crickets for Senay as he has seen his junior and senior drafts go by without a call.
“I have never really thought about the draft,” Senay said. “I just came out here, played my hardest and let my game speak for itself. Right now, I’m really happy to be in Omaha at the College World Series.”
Even with a 5-for-5 game with a home run against Wake Forest and a six-RBI game against Georgia Tech earlier this year, Senay hasn’t got a call from a big league club.
The call may come, it may not. In the meantime, Senay is happy with his role as the catalyst on a College World Series team.
“It’s been a blast out here,” he said, simply enjoying the moment.