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The Pine Needle
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UNCP Home News & Events The Pine Needle Top Sports Stories Knight's Ride Starts with a Little Duct Tape
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Knight's Ride Starts with a Little Duct Tape

Knight's Ride Starts with a Little Duct Tape

By Catherine George, Assistant Sports EditorBaseball

Dalton Knight, 21, is a senior infielder for the Braves’ baseball team and started his baseball career in his own yard hitting duct tape baseballs.

Knight is a native of Morehead City, N.C., and is studying environmental science at UNCP. After graduating, Knight plans on working for Cherry Point Naval Air Station in the Environmental Department, while also starting his own power washing company.

He was a multi-sport athlete all throughout his high school career.

Along with baseball, he also played soccer, basketball and was a part of the winningest football team in West Carteret High School history.

His summers as a kid were spent surfing with his older brother Kameron until he was about six or seven.                  

After being caught in a rip current, “I then decided surfing wasn’t my destiny and started dedicating myself to baseball rather than going to the beach every day,” Knight said.

He started off for the fun of the game just like any other athlete. He and his friends would meet up and play “duct tape baseball” at his house.

“We would take duct tape paper balls to minimize our chances of breaking windows. Those games, along with hitting my first home run, would be some of my favorite baseball memories,” Knight said.

His family, Mark and Christian Knight, older brother Kameron and younger sister Emory were the ones to get Knight into playing the sport in the first place.

“My dad and I would watch the Braves on TBS every night in the era of Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine and Chipper Jones. You never forget the first time you fall in love with a sport,” Knight said.

His organized baseball life started at the age of five.

In his spare time, he likes “hitting cage dingers” with friend Chad Whitehead, who is the current catcher for the Braves.

“I also enjoy watching my roommates play video games, fishing, and long walks on the beach,” Knight said.

Two of the most significant people in his life have been his mother and father, who have driven him all across the east coast for baseball.

“They are, without a doubt, the most influential people in my life, and I am forever grateful for all of the ups and downs throughout my baseball career,” Knight said.

His friend, Drew Cole, also a member of the Braves baseball team, has been an influential factor in his life as well.

Knight’s favorite quote to live by is “you can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets,” by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

A part of his baseball success is from head coach Paul O’Neil.

“He is a great coach and demands excellence out of his team,” Knight said.

His favorite memory at UNCP took place on his 19th birthday as a freshman starter in a Braves jersey.

“I was absolutely scared to death and my knees were shaking in the batter’s box. But, my first game as a Brave, I went 4-for-4,” Knight said.

Knight has definitely been a dedicated and successful student-athlete during his four years here.

“My overall experience with UNCP has been great. I will take away a lot of memories, some good some bad. But, I’ll be a Brave till the day I die,” Knight said.

Photo by Jonathan Bym. Dalton Knight drives the ball down the first base line in a game last season.