By Gordie Jones
It has been a “storybook career” for West Chester Henderson grad Chas McCormick, in the estimation of Millersville University baseball coach Jon Shehan. But the final chapter has brought a plot twist.
Always a dangerous hitter, the senior right fielder has evolved into a long-ball threat this spring. His nine homers are not only a career high, but eclipse, by one, the total for his first three years.
Just a matter of getting in the weight room, the 5-11, 175-pound McCormick said. A matter of making a concerted effort to drive the ball.
One other thing, too.
“This is my last year, you know?” he said. “You only have four years to play college baseball.”
He has made the most of them. Recently named the Pennsylvania Conference East Athlete of the Year, McCormick is hitting .386 entering the Marauders’ NCAA Atlantic Regional game against Shippensburg on Thursday in Jamestown, N.Y.
He also has a .440 on-base percentage and career-high .608 slugging percentage, and has driven in 43 runs.
“He’s just a very well-rounded offensive player,” Shehan said. “He’s dynamic — probably the best way to describe him.”
McCormick, the first four-time All-PSAC East selection (and three-time first-teamer) in school history, owns MU career records for hits (301), runs (214) and RBIs (182). He is second on the all-time list in triples (10), third in steals (82), fourth in doubles (50) and eighth in home runs (17).
All of that has come as part of a highly successful team. The Marauders are 33-17 this season and looking to defend their regional championship of a year ago, when they went 53-7 and fell to Nova Southeastern in the Division II championship game.
McCormick can only shake his head at all that has happened, and how quickly his career has passed.
“It’s flown by, but it’s been a helluva ride,” he said. “Awesome four years here.”
He is one of four baseball-playing sons born to Robert and Nancy Jo McCormick. The oldest, Ryan, played second base at Millersville, and the second-oldest, Sean, was a pitcher/third baseman at Kutztown. Chas’s twin, Jason, is an outfielder wrapping up his career at Immaculata.
“It really honestly started when all of us four started playing tennis baseball in the front yard,” Chas said. “I mean, it was perfect. It was two-on-two – pitcher and catcher and two hitters.”
He was a four-time All-Ches-Mont choice at Henderson, where he also starred in basketball, then followed Ryan to MU.
“I knew Millersville’s all about winning,” Chas said. “They like to win. They like to get to work.”
As does he.
“He was a winner in high school, and we were hoping he’d be a winner in college,” Shehan said. “But at the same time I don’t think you ever recruit a guy, expecting him to go out and be an All-American and have 300 hits.”
Yet it has all happened. No telling what might come next. Shehan believes it’s “50-50” that McCormick will be drafted next month.
But this much is certain: He will power through to the end.
“When I’m done this game,” McCormick said, “I’ll be like, ‘I played as hard as I possibly can, I never let up, I always wanted to compete.’”