GUYTON -- Despite bouncing in and out of the lineup due to a plethora of injuries, Dylan Wallace has done more than enough to earn the respect of college coaches.
On Friday, the South Effingham shortstop signed a letter of intent to attend LaGrange College.
“They started looking at me and then I started researching,” Wallace said. “I found out it was a really nice college. I took a tour, met all of the guys and hung out with them for the night. I spent the night with two of the baseball players.
"Everything touched my heart. It was the right college for me. I didn’t want to go anywhere else.”
Wallace has been a vital cog in the Mustangs' machine for four seasons.
“My freshman year I got pulled up to varsity,” he said. “I came into the game because the coach asked who the fastest runner was. Another coach gave him my name. I was on second base. He told me, 'As soon as the ball is hit -- I don’t care where it’s at -- you’re going home.
"I scored the winning run to take us to the (Class AAAAA) Sweet 16.”
Wallace still hasn't wrapped his mind around the opporunity he has been afforded.
“It hasn’t set in yet,” he said. “Once I sign the paper, I know I’m going to go to college to play baseball.”
Wallace was finally able to get back on the diamond recently after nursing a finger injury. His play at the plate was not a disappointment as he went two-for-two with a single, double and a walk against New Hampstead last week.
Wallace knows what it takes to fight through adversity and it's a trait he’ll take with him to LaGrange.
“(I’m looking forward to) competition in different positions,” Wallace said. “There’s always going to be that one guy that is going to push you. You’re going to push him. It’s a competitive game.
"You’re always going to be there to push one another and get better.”
And Wallace isn’t going to college just for the sake of going. He plans to excel in all that he does, whether it be walking across the stage in four years to get his diploma or putting his name in the record books.
“My goal going to college is to get my degree but, baseball wise, I want to be the guy everyone looks up to,” he said.
Wallace will be joining a LaGrange program that is one of the top teams in NCAA Division III's USA South Conference. The Panthers are the reigning champs, having won the title in 2017 as well. LaGrange is currently 24-9 and 15-5 in conference play.
Wallace plans to major in Business with a minor in Sports Management.