Ken Raborn has heard it all.
Ken Raborn, an Evans High School third baseman, is joined by family, friends and coaches as he signs a letter of intent to play at the University of South Carolina Aiken. Although Raborn is only 5 feet 8 inches tall, he says his stature hasn't been a problem; the player led the county in RBI in 2004.
He is too small to play college baseball. At 5 feet 8 inches, he can't handle the rigors of playing at the next level.
Never mind that he led the county in RBI in 2004 and is among the county leaders again this year.
After waiting and watching as three of his Evans teammates signed, Raborn was offered a baseball scholarship from USC Aiken.
"I was starting to think the day would never come," Raborn said. "I never felt like my size was a problem, but I knew other people felt like it was. But it was discouraging sitting around and waiting when you know you can play at the next level."
The senior signed his letter of intent with the Pacers recently and will join pitcher Tim Steflik at the Division II school.
"I am excited about going to USC Aiken," Raborn said. "The school is almost starting to resemble a Columbia County all-star team. There are a lot of guys I grew up playing with, so that will be fun."
Raborn followed an All-County junior year with a solid senior season.
Although he got off to a slow start, Raborn has been on a tear lately, hitting most of his nine home runs late in the season. The third baseman is hitting over .400 and has 30 RBI.
"It is just Raborn being Raborn," said junior Shawn Ward. "He is a tremendous hitter, and pitchers don't seem to walk me because they don't want to face him. When I do get on base, I know he will knock me in."
Raborn and Ward have been instrumental in a recent offensive outburst for Evans.
The Knights have rallied to win the first two rounds of the state playoffs after losing Game 1. The team's bats have helped overcome series deficits to Chapel Hill and No. 3 Hardaway and lead them into the Class AAAA state quarterfinals with Etowah.
"Kenny is a huge reason for the success we have had this season and in the playoffs," said Evans coach Ricky Beale. "He has such a great bat. I bet you probably can't find a player that has come up with as many clutch hits as he has.
"I'm just so proud that someone decided to sign him. He will make a lot of schools pay that didn't look at him."
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