Anyone who has been around the EMU Diamond Royals the last four years has probably seen pitcher Bailey Hall (Daleville, Va./James River), who has been a regular starter since his freshman season. His 6-foot 5-inch frame doesn’t hurt.
Bailey became a weekend starter as a sophomore, the same year he was named ODAC Pitcher of the Week after throwing a complete game in a 4-1 win over Emory & Henry. At one point in that game, he retired 17-of-18 batters.
Over his career, the big right-hander logged 35 starts in 40 appearances.
His consistency on the field was mirrored off it. Bailey spent three years as a Community Advisor in EMU’s Residence Life. He was also on the Leadership Team of the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Although his final season was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, Bailey earned a permanent memory by winning the EMU President’s Award. Fittingly, he is also the final Royals Athlete of the Week of the 2019-20 season.
Please briefly describe your overall summer ball experience last year. In what ways did your play from last summer transition into your regular season?
I have always enjoyed getting to go play summer ball as I get to meet a lot of new people, and learn what they are doing at their schools. The last two summers I have gotten to play in the Valley League which consists of a good mix of guys from all different levels, so it is always fun to watch them pitch and pick their brains, too. I think what helped me the most is learning how to call my own game. This year Coach (Ryan) Tierney gave us the freedom to do that, so I felt like summer ball helped prepare me some for that.
What was your mindset coming into your senior season, and how did you prepare for it?
This year with a new coaching staff you could tell there was a new energy from top to bottom, we had higher expectations and new processes for player development to meet those expectations. Coach (Adam) Posey and the rest of the staff equipped us well with player development which I think showed over the course of the year. I personally wanted to make sure I was a good teammate first and foremost while providing leadership when it was needed, and also preparing myself to perform the best I could in whatever role was determined for me. I understood over my four years at college that my days were numbered, so I wanted to be present in each moment and enjoy it while it lasted, so I would say not much changed during my preparation in the off season, I still kept up with our throwing program and stayed in the weight room to be ready for the season.
What have you learned about yourself during your time as an EMU baseball player?
I think the obvious things any athlete learns from their experiences are dealing with failure and dealing with adversity, but I also think I learned a lot in terms of leadership, communication, and balancing multiple tasks while staying rooted in my faith. I wasn’t always good about setting time aside each day to read the Word, but I know I kept my faith my centerpiece in everything I did. Whether I was performing poorly or well on the field, I realized there was so much more to enjoy each day. Whether it was walk-off wins, seeing someone like John Judy have great success this year, or experiencing tough losses with teammates, those are moments that are hard to put into words, too, but moments I learned to cherish as I move on from playing.
You ended your career receiving the President’s Award, which is the highest award an athlete can receive at EMU. Please briefly describe your four-year experience as a Royal.
I was very blessed to receive that award and I give the Lord credit for it all as He was simply working through me over these four years. As a freshman I quickly realized I wanted to get connected on campus in more ways than just baseball. Being a CA sparked my interest the most, so sophomore year I was accepted into that role and was able to remain in it the remainder of my time here. I also had the opportunity to serve on the FCA Leadership Team my junior and senior years. I took pride in helping to bridge the gap between athletics and the greater campus community, I wanted to serve others which I felt I could do through my roles as a CA, FCA Leadership Team member, and a member of the baseball team. Each role stretched me and put me in uncomfortable situations, but in the end they were worth it as they helped me to grow as a person.
What did you receive your degree in, and what are your future plans?
I received my degree in Recreational Leadership and Sports Studies with a minor in Coaching. I will be getting married in the summer to Meredith (Stinnette), and she was hired to teach at Waterman Elementary. I will volunteer as an assistant coach at EMU next year and seek employment if possible, but mainly focus on coaching for now and see where that may take me.
Coach Adam Posey on Bailey Hall:
Bailey has been a steady presence since he arrived on campus four years ago. One of the best things for a coach to have is someone that they know is consistent, and Bailey has epitomized the word. One of Bailey’s strengths is his attention to detail. Everything about Bailey is geared towards taking care of the little details that other people overlook. The President's Award was a huge honor for Bailey and our program. We haven't had very many baseball players in the past that have won it, and so I think it speaks to the values of our program now that we are trying to find young men that fit our baseball team and the University community.
-- Bri Miller, EMU Sports Information Writing Intern