For the second straight year, the Catawba Valley Community College baseball program was represented in the Major League Baseball Draft. Former Red Hawks pitcher Charles Hall was selected by the Oakland Athletics during the final day of the 2019 MLB Draft on Wednesday, becoming just the sixth Red Hawk all time to be drafted.
Hall found out the news that he was selected by the A’s during a rain delay at his summer college baseball team’s game in Hampton, Va.
“We just finished putting the tarp on the field, and the team was all in the locker room watching their phones for my name,” Hall said. “When it came up everyone went crazy and congratulated me. It’s literally unbelievable.”
A Dumfries, Va., native, Hall came to Catawba Valley during the 2015-16 season looking for a second chance after spending one semester at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Md.
“I was young and immature,” Hall said. “I didn’t go to class and didn’t have the grades.”
CVCC head baseball coach Paul Rozzelle saw a talented pitcher with potential, but the need for a school to call home.
“He came down to Hickory and pretty much pleaded for a second chance in baseball,” Rozzelle said. “He said, ‘I know I can play, and I know I can be good.’ Boy was he right, but it wasn’t a linear line to success. There were tons of ups and downs during his time here as he was growing up a bit and figuring out how to get outs, but once he did, he never looked back.”
Hall finished his CVCC career ranking third in three career pitching categories, including games started (19), innings pitched (109.1) and strikeouts (110). He also ranks eighth in strikeouts per nine innings during a single season (11.17).
“It was life-changing,” Hall said of his time with the Red Hawks. “CVCC gave me the opportunity to play the game I love and get an education. It was all I could ever ask for. Coach Rozzelle was nice enough to give me that opportunity, and it changed my life forever. I made life-long friends there, and I am so happy I chose CVCC as my home.”
After graduating from CVCC in 2017, Hall earned an opportunity to play baseball at Tusculum College in Greenville, Tenn., where he went on to lead the nation in strikeouts (148) this past spring.
Hall also set the NCAA Division II record for strikeouts in a game (22) against Queens University of Charlotte on March 15.
Hall finished his senior season with multiple accolades for his play, including South Atlantic Conference (SAC) Pitcher of the Year, Conference Commissioner's All-Region first team, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Division II National Pitcher of the Week, SAC Pitcher of the Week and NCBWA Postseason All-Region second team.
“He absolutely dominated the SAC this past year, and we are excited to watch him compete at the pro level,” Rozzelle said. “It’s nice for our program to have back-to-back years where we were represented in the MLB Draft, and all the credit goes to Charles Hall for the work he put in.”
The 24-year-old Hall also excelled in the classroom, earning SAC Commissioner's Honor Roll, Athletic Director's Honor Roll, Dean's List and Charles Oliver Gray Honors List recognition.
Now, he’ll have a chance to excel at the next stage of his life – a career in professional baseball.
“From the thrower I was when I started at CVCC to the pitcher I became through my four years is crazy,” Hall said. “The coaching I had at both schools was what put me in the position to become the pitcher I became. I was brought to tears when my name was called. It’s been a long journey, but every minute of it was worth it, and I wouldn’t have changed any of it for the world.”
Cody Dalton is the sports information director for CVCC.