Randleman pitcher finds his Way to Liberty

Pitcher Seth Way, right, confers with coach Jake Smith and catcher Isaac Yates during a game this year. (PJ Ward-Brown / Randolph Record)

RANDLEMAN – Seth Way has changed his college destination, but he’ll still be joining a Division I program in the state of Virginia.

Way, who has been a standout two-way player for Randleman, announced a commitment to Liberty last week.

“I knew as soon as I got on campus that’s where I wanted to go,” said Way, who had a standout high school career for Randleman.

The right-handed pitcher had signed in November with Virginia Tech, but was released in May from that national letter of intent. He was Player of the Year in the Piedmont Athletic Conference.

The notion to change directions became clear to Way by spring before he finally made the request to select another spot. He said he was wrapped up in Randleman’s season and didn’t want to be distracted by the recruiting process.

“I had my mind set on Tech for a while,” he said. “Nothing against Tech, it just wasn’t going to be a great fit for me. I’ve got nothing bad to say about V-Tech. I think I was caught all up with the Power 5 thing.”

Way’s older brother, Trey Way, spent parts of the past two years with the Virginia Tech program, but never played a game for the Hokies.

Back in the recruiting mix for the past month-plus wasn’t a normal path. Seth Way had been in contact with High Point, Radford and UNC Wilmington.

“It was kind of a tough situation because I waited so long,” he said. “It was just meant to be (to end up at Liberty).”

Way moved in at the Lynchburg, Va., campus during the past weekend.

He joins a team where Asheboro’s Tanner Marsh just finished his freshman season as the starting shortstop for the Flames, who are coached by former North Carolina assistant Scott Jackson. Way said he knows several other Liberty players through travel ball.

In the past, Way had been part of the South Charlotte Panthers travel program. He hasn’t played this summer, figuring his extensive pitching workload on the mound for Randleman resulted in the need for a layoff from games prior to entering a college program.

In the meantime, Way said he’s working on expanding his pitching skills. His fastball has clocked in the 87-90 mph range.

“I’ve been developing my change-up,” he said. “I’ve picked up some velo. My goal is to continue to put on velo. I’ve always had the fastball and slider. I really want to develop that third pitch.”

While he was an accomplished batter in the Randleman lineup since his sophomore season, he frequently talked about embracing his role on the mound. He was the left fielder on the 2022 state championship team.

Since then, he logged lots of time in center field when he wasn’t pitching in 2023, while this year he filled in as a third baseman, shortstop and first baseman. But he said he’s not interested in going to the plate in college.

“If I wanted to hit in college, I would not like it,” he said. “I know where my bread is buttered. I’ve put down the bat and I’ve picked up the golf clubs.”

At 6-foot-3 and 188 pounds, he said he’s interested in getting into Liberty’s weight-training program and tacking on about 10 pounds.

Randleman won Class 2A state championships in 2021 and 2022 and made a deep playoff run in 2023. Way said it was important to maintain the high standards., and the Tigers went 21-6 this season with a PAC regular-season championship.

“We were kind of doubted the whole season,” he said. “I think we showed that Randleman baseball is very, very good.”

Meanwhile, former Randleman standout Trey Cooper said he’s leaving Liberty after two seasons. Cooper, a pitcher, is back with the Burlington Sock Puppets this summer for the second go-around in three years with the Appalachian League team for summer college baseball.

By Bob Sutton