Monday, September 20, 2010

Back in the Midwest, Carroll Transfers from Duke

Carroll One of Six Buckeye Transfers

By Matt Kopsea
South Bend Tribune Staff Writer

Mike Carroll's baseball dreams have taken him back to the Midwest.

After spending his freshman campaign playing for Duke University, the former Penn High outfielder has transferred to Ohio State.

Under NCAA rules, the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Carroll will sit out the 2011 campaign, then have three years of eligibility remaining starting in 2012.

Financial considerations were behind Carroll's decision to move from the Athletic Coast Conference to the Big Ten.

"I was under the impression the scholarship I got from Duke was for four years, when in fact, it was only a one-year deal," said Carroll, who will be on scholarship at OSU. "They told me they might be able to work something out, but that I would have to pay my way this coming year. It costs around $54,000 a year to go there. I just couldn't put my family into that kind of a financial strain. So, I decided to look elsewhere to play."

In addition to Ohio State, Michigan State and Western Michigan also were originally in pursuit of Carroll's services.

"I remember (New Ohio State) Coach (Greg) Beals when he was at Ball State, so I had pretty good idea of what kind of coach he was," Carroll said. "When I took my official visit there, I found it to have a great atmosphere. They play a great schedule and are in a great conference.

"The program is headed in the right direction, so I'm really looking forward to getting there. The nice thing about Ohio State is that my family will now have a chance to see me play a little more often."

A three-year starter at Penn, Carroll started 27 of 41 games with the Blue Devils, who finished 29-27 in 2010. He hit .258 with nine RBIs, five stolen bases and a .420 on-base percentage.

"It was a great experience getting the chance to hit against ACC pitching," said the 2009 Penn graduate. "I was fortunate to get a decent amount of playing time and am thankful for the opportunity there."

Although he will be a spectator next spring, Carroll can take part in fall workouts starting Tuesday.

"It's going to be tough not being out there, but I believe it might be the best for me in the long run," he said. "The fact I'm just concentrating on baseball now (he also played football at Penn) helped give me a better understanding of the game.

"There are so many little details I never really paid attention to until this past year. I now have the time to get stronger and better develop myself and my skills."

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