Trey Woosley attended Frontier Community College for two seasons, but had to red-shirt his freshman season after needing to get Tommy John Surgery.
He returned for his sophomore season with just a few Division II and NAIA offers, but he knew he wanted more. Knowing he still hadn’t gotten that Division I offer, Woosley joined the Mustangs with a lot of extra weight on his shoulders.
“It was very stressful, very, very stressful. It felt like at the plate that I had to go 4-for-4 ever day,” he said. “I want to prove to people back home and to myself and everybody that told me that, ‘you weren’t good enough to go D-I,’ that this is what I want to do.”
Woosley admitted that he was pressing at the plate with that added pressure. But then finally Murray State called with an offer. It took 10 minutes for Woosely to accept. His teammates were excited to hear the news, and Woosley was relieved.
“They knew how stressed I was and how I was upset that I hadn’t gotten the looks that I wanted to get, so as soon as that happened every single one of them were just extremely happy for me,” he said. “It felt like the weight of the world was just gone.”
Woosley is tied for the team lead with six home runs this season, and tied for second on the team with 19 RBIs and tied for third with four doubles. It was an up-and-down start to the summer, and Woosley said that it took him about a month to get comfortable with Coastal Plain League pitching.
He said that at Frontier Community College, a program that was brand new when Woosley joined, the average velocity of opposing pitchers was below 90 miles-per-hour, with a rare exception here and there. Now in the CPL, Woosley said the pitching is consistently much tougher than where he came from.
“We come out here and you start facing guys from UNC and Clemson and all these big, top schools and they’re running it in there consistent low (90s) to mid (90s),” he said. “It took, I’d say, most of the first half honestly to get used to what I needed to do.”
During the college season, Woosley wasn’t sure where he’d be playing this summer. Mustangs Head Coach Kregg Snook knew one of the coaches that played against Frontier Community College and eventually Snook reached out to Frontier and offered Woosley a spot on the team.
“I said no question. No matter what team it is, tell them yes,” Woosley recalled telling his head coach at Frontier when he told him the news.
Woosley came in as the only player from a junior college for the Mustangs. That was just another piece of motivation for Woosley when he came to Martinsville. He didn’t set his sights solely on baseball until his sophomore year in high school, and by graduation he was only 5-foot-11-inches and 180 pounds. Now Woosley stands 6-1 and 220 pounds. He came to Martinsville with confidence that he could be that Division I prospect.
“I got overlooked a lot,” Woosley said. “I knew we had quite a few D-I guys and even the D-II guys that we have, they’re from the top-notch D-II (programs) in the country... I don’t want these guys looking down on me.”
There’s still season left here in Martinsville, but now that he’s got his Division I opportunity at Murray State, Woosley isn’t done proving to people what he’s got to offer as a player.
“I want to prove to (Murray State) that I can take (the starting first baseman’s) job,” he said. “I just want to prove to them that, ‘hey, I can be your guy. I want to be your dude that’s going to lead this team to an NCAA Regional.”
And even with all of his personal motivation, he’s got a support group that doesn’t let that motivation slip, for which Woosley is forever grateful.
It’s not just his family, or his coaches, but his best friend might be the biggest supporter of all.
“I have a good group of friends back home. I actually have one that drove all the way down here... I call him Coach Bishop — his name is Trevor Bishop — because he’s the one that will chew my butt out more than anyone else will,” Woosley said.
Even after a three-homer game against High Point-Thomasville earlier this summer, Bishop had to criticize.
“He was like, ‘you could’ve hit four,’” Woosley laughed. “He’s a big motivator because he’s been my best friend since we were eight years old.”
And now Bishop has Woosley eyeing bigger goals. Ohio Valley Conference awards, but more importantly — getting his name called at the Major League Baseball Draft.
“Honestly, that’s the biggest goal that I’ve had since I was a kid,” Woosley said.
Chris Doherty is a Sports Reporter for the Martinsville Bulletin. Contact him 276-638-8801 ext. 215. Follow on Twitter @BulletinSport