Beavers star freshman finds peace in the diamond and controls the cockpit


Lily Middleton

Freshman outfielder Gavin Turley celebrates his home run with his teammates after running the bases inside of Goss Stadium on Feb. 26 against Coppin State. Turley has made his mark on the team being the only true freshman to get 85 at bats for the Beavers during this season.

Lily Middleton, Sports Contributor

Instead of accepting an offer from the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 19th round of the 2022 MLB first-year player draft, freshman outfielder Gavin Turley began building a name for himself on the field of Goss Stadium. 

With his growing reputation as one of the faces of Oregon State baseball, Turley reflects on some past OSU Baseball alumni who had the same reputation — Garrett Forrester, Cooper Hjerpe and Andy Anderson being some examples — and how he has begun to gain that same traction.

“I kind of know how other people look at the face of Oregon State baseball and for people to be already calling you that it’s a big deal for me,” Turley said. 

Joining his dream college baseball team has been an experience for Turley.

“A blessing and a privilege that I’ll never take for granted. It’s a very special time in my life that I’m very, very excited to be a part of,” Turley said.

Not only has playing alongside his teammates been a great experience, but so are the experiences off the field during travel days.

“I’d say the best memories that I love are just like the airport trips with the team,” Turley said. “There’s always guys kind of cracking good jokes and having a good time just with each other. Or just playing on the field with them competing, it is always up there.”

Beginning his baseball career at the age of six with help from his dad and older brother, Turley began to turn heads even then. 

With family in the game as well, he was able to visualize the exact path he wanted to take, which was playing collegiate baseball for Oregon State. 

With hard work and the need to prove his skill to the older kids on his teams, Turley was able to make this dream a reality by his freshman year of high school.

“It didn’t feel real. It was just something written from a book, or out of a movie,” Turley said. “Baseball is always a game of just getting better. So the amount of progress I’ve made since I’ve been here has been so huge and I’m stoked for it.”

Playing with kids a few years older than him wasn’t always easy with the feeling of needing to prove that he belonged with them. However, this pressure just grew into motivation to improve.

“I mean, I like to see it as like the saying ‘no pressure, no diamonds.’ I like to embrace the pressure and the stress of it and learn from it,” Turley said.

Despite baseball being an end goal for the freshman outfielder, Turley has begun to think ahead, beyond baseball. Studying agricultural sciences, he has begun to reflect on his childhood in Utah.

“I grew up in Utah, the backside of like Park City up in the mountains up there and kind of always grew up doing ranch work. Whether it’s moving hand lines, moving hay, or moving cattle even and then ended up kind of falling in love with it,” Turley said. “That’s the kind of life I want to live after baseball.”

In addition to ranching and the recent attention drawn to his ability to play piano by ear, Turley has also spent plenty of time in the air. 

Since the beginning of 2022, Turley has found an escape from his daily life and baseball in aviation. Once he takes the written test to go along with his logged hours, he can get his certificate which allows him to fly solo. 

“I feel like every athlete kind of finds their own way of doing. My way is flying or going outside and hiking or whatever it is,” Turley said.

That being said, when the time comes to take the step into the major leagues, he will have to give up this pastime. 

With the exact limitations on this hobby still unclear in terms of what the MLB would and wouldn’t allow, Turley remains open to the reality that he may have to press pause on his newfound love for aviation.

“I have no problem giving it up to pursue my dream at all. I mean, it’s just a snap of the fingers,” Turley said. “But most of the time the liability comes from flying the plane by itself whereas if you have an instructor with you or another pilot it seems to be okay in the MLB contracts, I think.”

Was this article helpful?