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East's Stroup headed to Appalachian

East Davidson centerfielder Tyler Stroup makes a leaping attempt at catching a ball hit off the fence during a game last season. (Photo by Donnie Roberts/The Dispatch)

Tyler Stroup spent part of his freshman and sophomore seasons nursing injuries.

The East Davidson outfielder stayed healthy his entire junior year, and the results were phenomenal.

After helping the Eagles to a sensational season on the diamond, Stroup signed a National Letter of Intent on Wednesday to play baseball at Appalachian State.

Stroup hit .446 and scored 28 runs as East went 17-10 and advanced to the fourth round of the 2-A state playoffs. He covered a ton of ground in center field, and constantly cut down base runners trying to nab an extra base while the ball was in the grass.

It only took the Mountaineers one look to know Stroup could help them out. “The recruiting started around Easter time last year,” Stroup said. “They saw me up there at App playing showcase baseball. They called me in after a game I had just played, and said they were interested.”

East coach Dan Tricarico was not surprised that his center fielder would draw the interest of college scouts. Tricarico appreciated the impact Stroup made at the plate and on the bases, but he also acknowledged his importance in the outfield.

Stroup is joining a team with plenty of Davidson County ties that appears to be on the upswing. Former North Davidson slugger Daniel Kassouf just graduated from a Mountaineer squad that went 41-18 and came within one win of advancing to the school’s first Super-Regional. North graduates Clyde Tate and Zach Joyce are on this year’s Mountaineers team, so Stroup will have some familiar faces waiting on him when he gets to Boone next fall.

From day one, Stroup wanted to play at Appalachian; he had no other formal offers to mull, but he didn’t need any. The one he wanted had already come.

“They offered me, and that’s the number one place I wanted to go,” Stroup said.

Still, he didn’t immediately jump on the offer. He waited until August to make sure he was making the right decision. “I wanted to keep all of my options open,” he said. “To see if any other schools came up.”

Even with many other schools interested, and talking to him, he knew in his heart what he wanted to do. With his decision made, he hopes to help the Eagles make another deep playoff run.

Stroup’s teammate, pitcher Avery Bowles, signed Wednesday to play at Catawba. He was instrumental in helping the Eagles make their run through the playoffs last season, anchoring the East pitching staff along with Braxton Shetley.

Jason Queen can be reached at 249-3981, ext. 220 or