By Thomas Sellers Jr.
2011 Millington Central High School graduate Ethan Quarles spent his summer vacation eating buffalo, running in the mountains and attacking Grizzles in the zone.
The former standout Trojan pitcher lodged innings for the Casper Cutthroats in Wyoming from May 31 to Aug. 2. Quarles threw 10 innings with 8 strikeouts.
The incoming Williams Baptist Eagle redshirt senior heard about the opportunity to pitch the Mountain Collegiate Baseball League from his teammates in Arkansas the past three years.
“They needed another pitcher,” Quarles said. “So I decided to go and give it a chance.”
The Casper Cutthroats Baseball Club played its games at Mike Lansing Field. The Cutthroats played against teams like the Cheyenne Grizzlies, Northern Colorado Toros and league newcomers Sterling and Laramie.
“The level of competition is definitely higher there,” Quarles noted. “There’s some high-level baseball there. You’re facing college players from across the nation.”
But the pace of life was different to the Tennessee native.
“It’s undescribable how slow it was,” Quarles jokingly said. “It’s a different lifestyle and pace of life. It’s much slower than Memphis. It’s like the next big city is 4 or 5 hours away. People are just in no rush.”
The 21-year-old enjoyed his experience in Wyoming eating grilled crab and buffalo at his host home. The high elevation made training tougher and the days were 90 degrees and nights in the low 60s.
Quarles was glad to be back in the humidity of Millington a few days before heading back to Arkansas to start his final year at Williams Baptist. But his experiences in Big Sky Country with his Cutthroat teammates will stay with him.
“It was really great to be around players who loved the game and who love playing it the right way,” Quarles concluded.