Future Tigers: Taylor Harbin and Brad Chalk

Brad Chalk and Taylor Harbin are two Upstate natives that will begin playing baseball for Clemson in 2005. <BR><BR> Harbin is a 5-foot-10 185-pound shortstop from Traveler's Rest High School while Chalk is a 6-foot-1 175-pound centerfielder.

Harbin hit .474 with a state record 52 home runs and over 180 RBI during his career. Chalk is a played centerfielder and he also pitched some in high school, but a back injury may prevent his doing so at Clemson.

Chalk was also the 2004 Gatorade State Player of the Year playing his senior year at Riverside High School in Greer.

They are teammates on the Upstate team in the Big League World Series for the second year and have won world titles in 2003 and 2004. With the win in 2004, South Carolina District 1 (the Upstate) becomes the first domestic team to repeat as BLWS champions since the event started in 1968.

At the conclusion of the BLWS (according to unofficial statistics), Harbin hit .500 (11-22) with one home run and 8 RBI and played some outstanding defense.

He just may be the next great Clemson shortstop.

Chalk hit .600 (12-20) with an inside-the-park home run and 6 RBI. Before the Wednesday, August 3 game in the BLWS, I had a chance to talk to each of them so that all Clemson fans can get to know them a little better before next season.

Did you ever seriously consider going pro?
Harbin:I did early, but decided it would be good to go to college.
Chalk: For a while, but thought college would be beneficial.

What attracted you to Clemson?
Harbin: The campus, friends that are already there and the caliber of the program.
Chalk: I've always liked Clemson and wanted to play for coach Leggett. He's honest with you and won't tell you just what you want to hear.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Harbin: Setting the state home run record.
Chalk: Playing for Team USA for 2 years.

Is there a player after who you model your style of play?
Harbin: Not really, I have my own style.
Chalk: Mark Kotsay (Oakland A's).

What are your goals at Clemson?
Harbin: To start my freshman year and be a significant player in Clemson history.
Chalk: win the College World Series.

Do you think this event (Big League World Series) is good for baseball in the Upstate?
Harbin: Yes, it brings people together.
Chalk: Yes, it brings out the fans and they take notice.

What's your favorite Major League team?
Harbin: Chicago Cubs, we go to a couple of games at Wrigley each summer.
Chalk: The Oakland A's.

What's your favorite pro team outside baseball?
Harbin: I'm not sure.
Chalk: Atlanta Falcons.

Do you prefer wood bats or aluminum?
Harbin: Aluminum.
Chalk: Aluminum.

Which team do you look most forward to facing in the ACC?:
Harbin: Miami.
Chalk: Miami.

What about out of conference?
Harbin: South Carolina.
Chalk: Winthrop, Wofford, I know a lot of guys on those teams.

Did you expect this kind of domination (in the BLWS)?
Note: the Upstate team outscored their opposition 79-10 in the 6 games.
Harbin: Not really.
Chalk: Not really.

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