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Tiger Baseball’s Jacob Compton Returns to Memphis

Memphis baseball’s Jacob Compton has always been a talented player. When he moved to Desoto Central as a sophomore in high school, he earned playing time right away on a competitive ball club, culminating in a 2018 6A Mississippi State Title his senior year.

“We had a lot of talent on that team. Some of those guys were even more talented than me,” Compton said. “We went on a deep run my junior year,and then my senior year, we won the whole thing.”

However, despite clear talent, he only had one offer coming out of high school—an offer to Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville, Mississippi.

To some guys, going to Junior College, JUCO, out of high school would be seen as an insult. But to Jacob, it was an opportunity.

“I got to play right away as a freshman. Being able to just play every day was a huge thing for me.”

Playing time is something Compton strongly believes in, recommending that young players value the opportunity to get on the diamond.

Another strong belief of Compton’s is his belief and reliance on God. Compton is an avid Christian, and he leans heavily on his faith.

“If you ask any of my teammates, they’ll tell you that Jacob Compton’s a Christian man.” His walk-up song is “God Taught Me” by Zauntee.

hat faith has driven Jacob to serve the global community, as last summer, he took a mission trip with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) to Uganda. Compton credited a previous trip he took to El Salvador as the reason why he jumped on the opportunity with the FCA. Jacob described going to Uganda as a life- changing experience.

“Teaching God to people who had never been exposed to him before was a true blessing.”

On the field, Compton improved year after year. Despite COVID taking away his 2020 season, Jacob said that it didn’t affect his development as a ballplayer. And in 2022, he got the opportunity to play at the Division 1 level.

“My JUCO coach was the one who had the connection to Coach Schoenrock. They knew if I got the offer from Memphis, I would sign right away.”

Jacob said the biggest difference between JUCO and D1 baseball was the consistency of the opposing talent. Despite the step up in talent level, Compton rose to the occasion. In his first season at Memphis, he finished 1st team All-AAC with a .291 average and led the conference in RBIs with 56.

That 2022 season gave Jacob multiple opportunities the following year, and it led him to Columbia, South Carolina. His reason for transferring was primarily Coach Schoenrock’s retirement. South Carolina gave him the opportunity to compete in the SEC and play for an NCAA championship.

Everything was on the up and up for Compton until a back injury derailed his season before it started. Compton never suited up for South Carolina, as he missed all of 2023 with a back injury before hitting the transfer portal.Despite spending the whole season rehabbing, Compton said he learned quite a bit during his time at South Carolina. "Just paying attention, taking in everything my teammates did. Trying to learn from them and being the best teammate possible.” He was very complimentary of the SEC atmosphere and appreciated being a part of a South Carolina team that went to Super Regionals.

But Compton still wanted to play, and with one more yearof eligibility left, the opportunity to win in Memphis was too much to pass up.

“Coach Pembertonis the one who actually reached out to me,” Compton said. “He saw me in the portal and said they needed a left-hand bat.”

Compton was excited to return to the Tigers, citing his joy in returning to his old teammates like Seth Cox. Despite all the changes since he left, Jacob Compton still had the hunger to be a Memphis Tiger.

This season has been arguably even better for Compton than his 2022 campaign. The experience shows in his at-bats, as he is comfortable taking pitches and working the count until he gets the pitch he likes. Despite a lower average than 2022, his OBP, on base percentage, has remained the same and his slugging has improved from .540 to .583.

Compton’s story offers a unique perspective on the transfer portal, as he got to experience the highest levels of college baseball and return home to thrive for the Tigers.

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