COLLEGE: Port Charlotte baseball player Matt Ranson signs with Lenoir-Rhyne

By Josh Vitale, SunCoast Sports

Port Charlotte baseball player Matt Ranson poses with his parents after signing a national letter of intent with Lenoir Rhyne University. Sun photo by Josh Vitale

Port Charlotte baseball player Matt Ranson poses with his parents after signing with Lenoir-Rhyne University.
Sun photo by Josh Vitale

PORT CHARLOTTE — Matt Ranson has always wanted to get out of Florida.

It’s not because he doesn’t like the Sunshine State; it’s just that he wants to experience more of the country. He was born in Massachusetts, but has lived here since he was 3 years old. He wanted to see what living elsewhere might have to offer.

On Tuesday, the Port Charlotte High School baseball player put that in writing, signing a national letter of intent to pitch for Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, N.C.

“It’s always been my dream, since I was a little kid, to get to the next level,” said Ranson, who was a pitcher for the Pirates. “Now that I’ve signed, I just know it’s official. It’s a weight off my shoulders.”

Most of the interest Ranson received from colleges came from local Florida schools until the Bears gave him a call. One of the coaches at the Division II school — which competes in the South Atlantic Conference — had seen film of pitching, and they wanted him to come up to the campus for a visit.

He threw a bullpen for them, toured the campus — it’s small, just the way he liked — and felt immediately comfortable with the coaching staff.

“It felt like home,” Ranson said. “I’m just excited.”

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