Fourkiller signs to play baseball for Razorbacks | Sports

STILWELL – Not letting a foot injury stand in his way, or keep him from standing, Cherokee Nation citizen Tyson Fourkiller completed an impressive 2022 season for the Connors State College baseball team.

Now he will continue his collegiate career at the University of Arkansas, joining a program that just made a trip to the bracket finals of the NCAA Men’s College World Series.

“Everything there just felt right,” Fourkiller said of his choice to join the Razorbacks. “I was looking at other offers, but they just came in at the right moment. It’s a dream come true. They have everything you can think of over there when it comes to facilities, the field, the town of Fayetteville. It’s also close to home. They took Ole Miss to the final outs (in the MCWS), and that’s an exciting atmosphere to look forward to.”

Fourkiller hopes he can “move back” to second base. He spent the 2022 season playing first base and taking some games off after he was injured in January during practice. He said a stress fracture was suspected, then it was thought to be bone spurs. He pressed through the season.

“I had a broken foot,” he said. “I wasn’t as mobile as I needed to be to play middle infield. I also caught some time in the outfield. I’m about halfway through my treatment, and I have about three more weeks. Everything is going well. I’m getting some time off and getting back on my feet.”

Though hobbled, Fourkiller batted .448 with five home runs and 60 RBI. He drew 24 walks against 7 strikeouts, reached base as a hit batsman 17 times, hit 22 doubles, and even managed a couple of triples and a stolen base. His on-base percentage was .551 and his slugging percentage was .686.

HIs performance caught the attention of several schools in addition to UA including Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

“(UA) Coach (Dave) Van Horn was quick to pull the trigger to bring me there, and I was also quick to pull the trigger,” Fourkiller said. “Going the junior college route was good for me. I was an overlooked player out of high school, which isnt that uncommon around here where it can be hard to get exposure. Going to CSC helped me become the player and person I am now. (Warner) is a small town, but they play some high-quality baseball down there.”

Moving from high school baseball to the junior college game required some quick adjustments on Fourkiller’s part.

“It was kind of a sink or swim moment for me,” he said. “I did know baseball at the high school level, but getting down there at Connors and facing some future draft prospects – there is no gray area. You’re either all in or all out.”

Though he loves the game, Fourkiller isn’t all baseball. He loves to fish and hunt, and frequently hits the waters with his twin brother, who owns a bass boat. He also enjoys landscaping – an interest he discovered through his older brother’s landscaping business.

It is because of family that Fourkiller has long been aware of his Cherokee heritage.

“I’ve always known,” he said. “I have a grandfather who is full blood, and my great-grandfather – who has now passed away – was a fluent Cherokee speaker. It has always been important to me. I know that some people may run into disadvantages as Cherokees, but I’ve always considered it an advantage for me. I feel like the support is a lot more tight and personal. It feels like the support of the community is real, and not just from Cherokees, but other people in the community as well.”

Fourkiller has received scholarships from CN, and he expressed his gratitude. He said the assistance has helped his family with the costs of college and let him pursue his educational and athletic aims, which have now led him to the biggest stage in college baseball.

“Whatever your dreams or your goals, don’t lose sight of them,” he said. “Keep chasing them. Keep working. One day you’ll look up, and who knows?”

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