Making It Count



Davis Barlow, Contributing Writer

Heartbreaking. Shocked. Confused.

Those were the three words that now fifth-year senior, Sam Carpenter, used to describe how he felt when he was informed that the 2020 spring sports season was canceled. The shutdown, which devastated many student-athletes around the country, hit Carpenter especially hard. On the field, he was off to an incredible start. With a USA-South Leading 0.80 Earned Run Average (ERA) in five starts, Carpenter was making an early case as one of the best pitchers in Division III baseball—but everything changed when the season came to a halt.


“Everything happened so fast for everyone, especially athletes,” said Carpenter.

The team was at a team dinner meal, preparing to leave on a road trip when the news was broken to them.

“When the season got canceled, we were all shocked, and of course, heartbroken.”


The NCCA’s ruling on an extra year for student-athletes came down quickly, after enormous pressure on social media. Users called for the NCAA to give back the year to student-athletes, in which they did. For some, the decision of whether or not to use their extra year was a difficult one. For Carpenter, there was never a doubt.


“I made my decision to come back right when the NCAA granted all players another year of eligibility,” stated Carpenter. “My teammates and family motivated me to come back. I was

lucky enough that my parents allowed me to push my last semester back 6 months. I also got a few messages from some teammates that made me excited to come back and play.”


Carpenter was alone in his decision to return. Of all the seniors in the 2020 senior class, he was the lone one to return; however, it appears to have been the right choice for him. Picking up where he left off in 2020, Carpenter is once again proving he is one of the best pitchers in Division III baseball and has certainly thrown his name in the hat for an All-American award. Through 10 starts this season, Carpenter has given up just 13 Earned Runs in 73 innings pitched, posting a brilliant 1.60 ERA. He is 7-3 in these 10 games thus far. To go with his on-field success, Carpenter has also learned to appreciate the game he loves so dearly a little bit more.

“It is 100% worth [coming back],” he stated. “If you really look at it, sports is such a small window in your life, especially college sports. My four years of college baseball has moved so fast. This year has given me time to slow everything down and really appreciate what Piedmont baseball has done in my life.”

As a team, the Lions find themselves fighting for a playoff in the USA South West Division. The team is 17-10 overall and 4-2 in USA South play. Carpenter and the Lions will be at home Friday, May 1 at 7 p.m. Please visit for all Piedmont spectator policy information.