SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Senior outfielder Tyler Cook has been named the seventh recipient of the Thomas L. Smith scholarship announced today by USC Upstate head baseball coach Matt Fincher.
A native of Bloomington, Ill., Cook becomes just the second Upstate player to earn the Thomas L. Smith Scholarship twice. He played at University High School before arriving in Spartanburg in the fall of 2007. At University, he earned three letters in baseball and finished his senior campaign with a .486 batting average, 11 doubles, four triples and 34 RBI. He also earned First-Team Class AA All-State honors after his senior season. Cook also earned two letters in both football and basketball during his prep career.
Cook redshirted his first year in the program (2008) and in 2009 he appeared in 16 games and made six starts. He collected first collegiate hit and his first run against Army (2/27/09). In 18 chances in the outfield, he made just one error.
As a sophomore in 2010, Cook batted .315 with eight doubles, three triples and three home runs. He also drove in 34 runs and scored 32 runs in 46 games (45 starts). During an eight-game hit streak from March 7-19, Cook collected a total of 15 hits including a three-hit and four-hit performance against Florida Gulf Coast.
In 2011, Cook made 52 starts for Upstate and finished the season with a .235 average, eight doubles two triples and one home run. He scored 36 runs and drove in 23, while earning 32 free passes (25 BB, 7 HBP). He also tallied 12 sacrifice hits as a junior, which was just one shy of tying a single-season school record.
Tyler has shown dedication to Upstate both on and off the field, and will be a contributor to the program this season. The Upstate Baseball Program is proud to award Tyler Cook with the Thomas L. Smith Memorial Scholarship.
Cook's Career Stats: