Dominic Smith is surrounded by coaches and his father at his Letter of Intent signing on April 14. Smith accepted a scholarship offer to play baseball an major in communications and journalism at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande. In the photo are, from left to right, starting in front row, Ed Ortega (assistant coach), Smith and Steve Sugg (head coach). In the back row is Owen Smith (father). Not pictured: Lupe Smith. 

Dominic Smith gets his chance for a fresh start in a new program  at a new level of collegiate athletics at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande.
Smith, a 2020 The Dalles High School graduate, accepted a scholarship offer to play baseball at the NAIA school and he plans to major in Communications and Journalism.
“Moving on to the next step in life with that signing means a lot to me,” Smith said. “Since the start of the senior year, I think I actually matured the most as a player and a person. I wish our senior year would’ve happened, but since it didn’t, I learned not take things for granted and to play every game like it is my last one.”
Smith made his presence known as a sophomore in 2018, as he totaled 23 hits in 71 at-bats (.324), scored 11 runs, drove in 10, walked seven times and struck out 14 times in 80 plate appearances to pick up a first-team, all-league award.
As a junior, the right-handed third baseman posted a .343 average on 24 for 70 with 12 runs and 17 RBIs.
He received seven walks, was hit by a pitch a team-high eight times and ended up with a .459 on-base percentage, a .429 slugging average and hit .361 with runners in scoring position.
As an infielder, catcher and pitcher, Smith committed six errors and notched a .903 fielding percentage with 27 putouts and 29 assists.
“Dom is one of those players who has the ability to catch fire and galvanize his teammates,” The Dalles head coach Steve Sugg said. “At the high school level, he showed what kind of ballplayer he could be and I am looking forward to seeing him continuing to work on different parts of his game to improve at the college level. We all know what he is capable of and it will be up to him to become a better all-around player and team leader.”
Smith knows that maintaining a solid balance between athletics and education is important, so he has taken it upon himself to become more disciplined in all aspects of his collegiate journey.
“The student part takes time management, always writing things down, studying and getting my homework done on time for me to succeed in college,” Smith said. “As an athlete, I think one really big key for me helping the program move forward would be starting fresh with new people, making new friends, working hard, and learning from my mistakes. To enjoy more successes, I just need to push myself.”
Smith is heading into his new destination ready to put all of his time into baseball to see how far it will take him.
The three-year varsity starter cherishes his high school sports experiences and is ready to tackle any challenge that comes his way.
This is a golden opportunity, and he heeded the advice of his parents, Owen and Lupe, in terms of not taking this opportunity for granted.
He understands that he might never get this chance ever again in life, so he wants to make it worthwhile.
“Dominic has put the time and effort into working on his game since little league,” Owen said. “Lupe and I are so proud and excited about him getting the opportunity to play at the college level. Playing in La Grande will give him an unbelievable experience and a chance to mature as a young adult moving into his career in life. He will truly have to focus daily to excel in both baseball and in the classroom. I think he is up for the challenge.”

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