Miller baseball sending five to college

CROZET, Va. (CBS1i SPORTS) -- Shortly after stepping away from the table, Miller School senior right-hander Ethan Chenault was asked about why he chose to keep playing baseball at UNC-Wilmington.

"Wilmington is gorgeous," Chenault said with a smile and a nod. "You all know. Wilmington is gorgeous."

But there was more to Chenault's decision than the school's beach location. A two-time VISAA all-state selection and the 2019 VIC player of the year, Chenault saw the Seahawks program as the right place to continue his baseball career.

"It's a great place to be. The coaches, the program," said Chenault, who committed to UNCW two years ago. "It's a winning club. They make NCAA appearances. It's a top 50 program. There's a lot to like, and there's a lot that made me want to go there."

Chenault was one of five Miller School seniors honored in the school's canteen on Tuesday for their future plans in college baseball. He was one of three Mavericks at the table who have been part of all three of the program's consecutive state championships.

Outfielder Jeremy Wagner -- the reigning VISAA Division II player of the year, and a three-time all-conference selection -- will play at Austin Peay.

"It means a lot because not everybody gets the opportunity to play Division I baseball. And I'm just blessed to be able to be given that opportunity," Wagner said. "Wherever they want me, I'll play. I'm not too picky. Just trying to get on the field."

Infeidler Jack Marshall, another three-time All-VIC selection at Miller, will continue his career at Roanoke College. Marshall said Tuesday that the chance to keep playing in college will give him and his teammates a little extra push going into their senior season this spring.

"I've been here for three years, we've won three past state championships," Marshall said. "This fourth one will be big, so that's what we're all striving for our senior year."

Right-hander Garrett Payne had already been committed to pitch at NC State for a year when joined the Miller baseball program last year. He was happy to make that commitment official on Tuesday afternoon.

"I mean, it's awesome," Payne said. "It's official now. It's been a long time coming. Been waiting a couple of years for this to finally happen. Now that it's official, I'm stoked. I'm ready. I'm ready to get there, ready to play. I'm ready to play on that big stage."

The fifth player at the table on Tuesday will play his first game in a Miller uniform this spring. Infielder Jordan Peyton had been committed to the Radford baseball program for three years -- and says that commitment never wavered during the Highlanders' coaching change this summer.

Peyton will be part of former Virginia pitching coach Karl Kuhn's first recruiting class at Radford.

"I think he's a great coach," Peyton said. "I've talked to him before when he was UVA. I think he's going to do well there, and he's going to lead us in the right direction."

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