Look into the Belmont baseball team’s record books, and you will find senior Dylan Craig all over them.
With Craig’s name already leading nine program offensive records already, the outfielder recently added a new one when he became the all-time hits leader in program history on March 24.
Despite the accolades, the all-conference player said his achievements are just part of the bigger picture.
“They benefit the program more than anything,” Craig said. “For me, they’re just little landmarks that I’ve achieved as an individual, but my overall goal is helping the team because it is a team sport.”
For as long as he can remember, baseball has always been a part of Craig’s life. Raised in Signal Mountain, Tenn., Craig started playing baseball at a very young age, and his grandfather is quick to point that out.
“My grandfather takes credit, saying that he used to throw the ball when I just learned how to walk,” Craig said. “I would just pick it up left handed and throw it back to him.”
He stayed with it, making progress through his early career and into high school. At Baylor School in Chattanooga, Craig was a key contributor to the team’s 2006 state championship title and was named to a TSSAA all-state team in both 2007 and 2008.
That impact carried over to Craig’s first season at Belmont. During his freshman year, he was named Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year and set the record for most hits in a single season, many of which came during a 26-game hitting streak.
In his sophomore and junior years, Craig continued his success on the field for the Bruins and started in every game but one in those years combined. He led the team in several categories, including most triples in a season, and his bat and speed were crucial in last year’s NCAA win against Oklahoma State.
So far in his senior season, Craig has continued to have a strong presence, both at the plate and in the field. He has a .315 batting average, and has not made an error all season.
Belmont head coach Dave Jarvis is proud of everything Craig has accomplished on and off the field. Craig has always been a tremendous competitor, he said.
“He brings a very good work ethic and a high level of morals and character to the field every day,” Jarvis said. “I’m very happy for him with the amount of success he has had, and he does it in a way that will make us and Belmont proud.”
Craig said he is thankful for help from the faculty and the education he has received at Belmont.
“Playing baseball and also being able to get a great education at the same time, that’s what I really love and benefit from,” Craig said. “The faculty has done nothing but help me. They don’t set me higher than any other student.”
With graduation around the corner, the chemistry major and history minor said his next step will probably be to get even more education.
“Right now I’m looking at chemical engineering a lot,” he said. “Being a history minor has left doors open as well. I can go into the law field – I can do this other stuff. As long as I get the degree, that’s all that matters to me, so I can do whatever the next step is.”
Craig said his final season flew by really quickly because it seemed like fall practice was just starting.
“It’s weird and I’m going to miss this group of guys,” Craig said.