Gambill leaves Milligan, mulls over next move

By Matt Hill

   Where the Buffalo roam, Chris Gambill roams no more.
   It was announced last week that the Milligan College ace pitcher has left the school and will transfer.
   Gambill went 5-5 with a 4.20 E.R.A. in his freshman season at Milligan.
   Gambill, who shined on the diamond in high school at Johnson County, said it had nothing to do with baseball.
   "The main reason was the school itself," Gambill said. "It had nothing to do with coach (Danny) Clark. I didn't feel like I fit in. I didn't like it. I can't place it on one particular thing, but I was miserable. I feel like I couldn't put myself through that to play ball there."
   Gambill didn't like the school, but he still respected the Milligan coaching staff.
   "As far as baseball it was great," Gambill said. "Coach Clark and Coach (Ray) Smith were great. They're why I was there as long as I was. The only time I was happy was when we were playing or practicing baseball."
   Coach Clark understood the decision, and he wished Gambill the best of luck.
   "He told me he understood," Gambill said. "He was a little shocked. He told me he would help me in any way he could."
   Now that Gambill is transferring, he must decide his next move.
   One possible selection might be East Tennessee State. Gambill has tried to get in touch with head coach Tony Skole.
   "We've played phone tag," Gambill said. "I've left messages for him, and he's left messages for me.
   "ETSU is a possibility. I'm not 100 percent sure right now, but it's a possibility."
   Gambill is still pondering transferring to a junior college. If he goes that route, Gambill would be eligible to get drafted in 2003.
   "I've thought about it," Gambill said. "If I did that, it would probably be Walters State. They're the best one around."
   Gambill is gearing up for the next step by playing in a wooden bat league traveling team, which is based in Lenoir, N.C.
   Gambill says it's a little different from NAIA or high school baseball.
   "There are a lot less runs scored than in high school," Gambill said. "The swings are slower and the bats are heavier. But the talent is a lot better as far as what I played in college."
   Gambill feels he will have to play Division I either this year or next to get the pro scouts attention.
   And Gambill is ready to accept that task.
   "I think I'm ready for it," Gambill said. "It's going to be a challenge. But if I'm going to play after college, I need to play Division I.
   While Gambill is moving on, he has no regrets about his initial choice of Milligan College.
   "I can't say I regret going there, but I'm glad to be out," Gambill said. "Everything happens for a reason. God's going to point me where I need to be. That's why I was there to begin with."