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One of the most consistent hitters in college baseball, Tanner Schobel has made a name for himself as a top threat for the Virginia Tech Hokies. After starting in all 59 of the Hokies games on the year, Schobel has put together a .362 batting average paired with 19 home runs to lead Virginia Tech. Recently named a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award, which honors the top amateur baseball player in the game, Tanner says his goal is to use his platform to make an impact.

Photo Courtesy of Virginia Tech Athletics
A Virginia native himself, the chance to play in front of friends and family for the Hokies has been a dream come true. His family has helped him develop not only into the player that he is today, but the person he is, too.

“Faith has always been a big part of my life. Growing up I almost always attended church with my family and I got to build a strong relationship with Christ.”

As a baseball player, Tanner has a schedule that has made it difficult to go to church on Sundays. He says using any resource he can to stay in the Word and go after the calling God has for him has been monumental.

“The best way that I was able to stay plugged in was having the Bible app on my phone. This app puts out daily verses and passages that I can read that help me stay strong in my journey with Christ. With how busy collegiate athletics can be this is a good way to stay plugged in and continue to grow.”

After committing to Virginia Tech, Schobel made an immediate impact as he started in all 52 games his freshman season. As he has returned and continued to impress throughout his sophomore campaign, he says his faith is what drives him every time he takes the field.

Photo Courtesy of Virginia Tech Athletics
“Faith plays a role in my baseball career in many different ways. I believe that God brought me to the sport of baseball so that I can be an example and spread His message across a variety of people.”

Tanner also says that as he sees his platform grow as one of the top players in the game, he hopes to use any attention and accolades to praise God instead of himself.

“Faith is what keeps me going as an athlete. I know the further I get in baseball the more publicity I will get which means a bigger stage of spreading God’s word.”

As Tanner and the Hokies put together one of the best years in school history, winning their first-ever NCAA Regional, Tanner already finds himself making an impact on kids and those watching and looking up to the way he plays. Tanner says he hopes he can just use that as a chance to reflect God.

“The biggest impact I hope to have with my platform is to show that through good and bad all the glory goes to God. God is the one that lays down the foundation for me and brothers to succeed on and off the baseball field.”

Although the Hokies fell short in their effort to reach the College World Series, Tanner says he knows his identity lies beyond the game of baseball.

“I just hope to show others that faith is bigger than what happens in 9 innings and that it’s never too late to start your journey with Christ.”

Coming off a historic season, the Hokies will look to find themselves right back at the top of the NCAA rankings come next season. As Tanner helps lead the Hokies into each game as one of the top players in the sport, he does it with humility and grace. Quick to deflect attention and praise, Tanner has fans across the country looking up to the way he carries himself both on and off the field. With any chance to play the game he loves, Tanner says he hopes to use it all to glorify Him.


Ethan Kruse

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