In an effort to start a new chapter in his life — and baseball career, for that matter — Jordan Gore felt the need to retrace his steps, and see exactly where it took him.
Inevitably, the path led back to Conway, where he starred for the hometown Tigers en route to being named an all-state talent.
While Conway baseball coach Anthony Carroll would enjoy adding a prized alum to his staff, that wasn’t what brought Gore back home. Instead, it was the opportunity to compete at a high level for the other hometown baseball team — the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.
“Being from Conway, it is always nice to play in town,” Gore said. “(Coastal Carolina baseball coach Gary) Gilmore has had a program that has been a winning program. You get to come out here and watch guys compete, and play the game the right way. That just appealed to me.”
After spending two years at South Carolina, the former Conway standout will jog from the dugout for Friday’s opener as a member of the Coastal Carolina baseball team.
It will be his first action since the 2015 baseball season, during which he started 45 games and batted .255. Playing primarily at the shortstop position, he also had 13 errors.
Gore also saw time during his freshman campaign, playing in 33 games.
I got to watch some of the best people and players I ever had to watch. Not even on the field but in the dugout, those guys from last year (I saw) the heart they had, and the competitiveness and the brotherhood they had. It really showed you what Coastal Carolina was all about.
Coastal Carolina shortstop Jordan Gore
Personal issues during Gore’s time in Columbia led to his decision to transfer. Fortunately for the local product, there was someone bleeding teal that was willing to listen.
“It was a decision (Gore) made (to transfer to Coastal Carolina),” Gilmore said. “A lot of personal reasons went into it.”
As a result of NCAA transfer rules, Gore was forced to sit out the entire 2016 baseball campaign, one that ended with the Chanticleers claiming a national title. Few had a better seat along the way than Gore, who said the time away allowed him to renew his love for the game of baseball and — more importantly — develop a bond with the young men who he would soon share the field with.
“I got to watch some of the best people and players I ever had to watch,” he said. “Not even on the field but in the dugout, those guys from last year (I saw) the heart they had, and the competitiveness and the brotherhood they had. It really showed you what Coastal Carolina was all about.”
According to Gilmore, Gore will be expected to contribute early as one of the team’s more prized newcomers. “I expect him to be an intricate part of what we are doing,” the Coastal Carolina skipper said.
Opting not to delve too far into his time at South Carolina, the Conway native believes his best days on the diamond are ahead, in part due to being able to play for Gilmore.
“The best part of my baseball career, no doubt,” he said. “Just the competitiveness, the heart he has … that guy wants to win everyday, and is going to do whatever it takes. I feel like it is a lot like myself, whatever it takes to win.”