Q&A with Hillsdale Commit Tanner Sizemore

By Phil Wade

Indiana Executive Director

Tanner SizemoreHamilton Southeastern RHP Tanner Sizemore recently committed to Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, MI.  

PBR: Ultimately, why did you choose Hillsdale?

Sizemore: I felt that Hillsdale offered me the best opportunity when it came to playing time on the field, and I felt that Coach Theisen is building a really strong program up at Hillsdale and I am excited that I am going to be able to be a part of it.  As far as off the field, the education at Hillsdale is second to none and I think it is going to provide me with a lot more opportunities in my future.

PBR: Where did Hillsdale first see you compete?

Sizemore: The first time Hillsdale saw me was at the Hoosier Crossroads showcase up in Gary this summer, then they saw me again when I pitched at Grand Park against Top Tier National and then yet again at another Crossroads showcase down at IU a few days later.

PBR: When did you take your first visit to Hillsdale?

Sizemore: My first visit up there was the first weekend in September.  I went up to take part in their “Top Prospect Day”.  Then I took my official visit on October 18.

PBR: What role do the coaches expect you to play when you first arrive on campus next fall?

Sizemore: From what I have been told by Coach Theisen, I believe that I’ll be able to be an impact player my freshman year.  Hopefully as a part of the starting rotation, but I’ll accept whatever role they want me to have and I’ll do my best to help the team in all aspects.

PBR; Were there any other schools you were considering?

Sizemore: Yes, I was considering Wabash, DePauw, and somewhat Western Kentucky as they started to show a little bit of interest as of late, but Hillsdale had been my first choice all along and I am extremely happy with my decision.

PBR: Who has had the biggest impact on you as a baseball player?

Sizemore: Without a doubt it’s my parents.  They have pushed me to the best player I can be and have given me every opportunity I have ever needed to be successful in this game.  Of course all of my coaches have been very impactful also, Coach Henson at HSE has given me plenty of great advice and so has my summer coach Todd Elliott, but my parents have been helping me out ever since I started playing and by far have had the greatest impact on me as a player.

PBR: You play for the Indiana Eagles in the summer, how has playing with them helped you develop as a baseball player?

Sizemore: Playing for the Eagles has been awesome.  My coach, Todd Elliott, always tries to put us up against some of the best teams in the state and even the entire Midwest.  I was fortunate enough to be able to pitch against these teams and it has really benefited me as a pitcher to face some of those great teams with solid hitters top to bottom in the lineup. Todd was the first coach I have really had that really helped me reach out to colleges and get them to come watch our teams games.  Of course, my teammates have been awesome as well, a lot of really talented kids playing on the same team and something good is bound to happen. 

PBR: What are you goals both individually and as team this coming spring at HSE?

Sizemore: Both individually and as a team, we have very high expectations again this year at HSE.  We believe that we are going to play the toughest schedule in the state of Indiana for the second consecutive year and we think playing that schedule will really benefit us come tournament time.  Not to mention we think that we have a very deep team this year and will get contributions from a lot of seniors, juniors, and maybe even some sophomores.  It should be fun, we’re all excited for the season to start!

PBR: Who is the toughest pitcher/hitter you've faced in Indiana?

Sizemore: The toughest hitter I have faced in Indiana would be TJ Collett.  But playing in the HCC last year, there were a lot of tough hitters that were really talented.

PBR: What were your stats last spring at HSE?

Sizemore: Last season I think I ended the year at 2-1 with somewhere around 18-20 innings pitched.  Our pitching staff was very competitive last year with Brendan Burns and Bryan Roberts leading the rotation and Alex Woodcock coming out of the pen.  We had so much depth we were able to spread out the innings pretty well last year.

PBR: What is your most memorable baseball moment to date?

Sizemore: Obviously making my commitment to Hillsdale was really exciting and I’ll remember it for a really long time, but I think my most memorable moment was from last summer with the Eagles.  I was pitching against Top Tier National.  The score was tied 1-1 for the whole game.  We went into extra innings, I ended up throwing 7 2/3 innings that day with 10 K’s and 2-3 at the plate.  In the bottom of the 8th Aaron McGee hit a walkoff single and we came out with a win.  It was one of the most fun games I have been a part of.