Jackson State Community College Athletics held a signing ceremony for five of its baseball players that will be moving on to four-year baseball programs at other area colleges and universities. These players have been a valued asset to the Generals program and have been signed early to other programs.
Today is a big day for our program, said Head Coach Tyson Malik. We have five guys that have committed to continue their baseball careers at different universities in this early signing period. This is a testament to the work they have put in with their time at Jackson State. These five young men have an outstanding work ethic and are exceptional examples on the baseball field.
The five players signing letters of intent were Taylor Walker, Zach Tompkins, Colton Harris, Devin Presley and Clayton Smithson.
Taylor Walker, a 6’4′ 225 lb first baseman from Riverdale High School in Murfreesboro, TN has signed a Letter of Intent with the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS. Southern Mississippi competes in Conference USA and has had tremendous success. Walker had a productive freshman season for the Generals last year where he hit .288, drove in 49 runs, and led the conference with 10 homeruns.
Zach Tompkins, an outstanding catcher from Mount Juliet High School in Mount Juliet, TN has signed to continue his career with Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN. Tompkins caught 39 games for the Generals last year, and was a 1st Team All-Conference player. Tompkins ability to handle the pitching staff, call a game, and control the running game are crucial for the Generals success in 2014. Tompkins hit .316 with 11 doubles and 4 home runs in 2013.
Colton Harris, originally from Dyer County High School came to Jackson State as a transfer from the University of Tennessee in 2013. He has signed to play his next two years in the Gulf South Conference at Union University in Jackson, TN. Harris was 8-4 last year for the Generals with a 3.35 ERA. He struck out 60 and walked only 17 in 86 innings pitched. Harris will be leaned on to lead the staff in 2014.
Devin Presley, a hard-throwing right-hander from Harpeth High School in Kingston Springs, TN has signed with the Tusculum Pioneers in the Southern Athletic Conference. Presley will play a huge role in the Generals success in 2014, after a solid freshman year where Presley was fourth on the staff in innings pitched with 34. Presley struck out 24 while only walking 9 batters.
Clayton Smithson, a sure handed shortstop from Hopkinsville, KY has committed to play for the Austin Peay Governors out of the Ohio Valley Conference. Austin Peay has a great tradition and has been to the regionals the last few years. Smithson started 48 games last year and will anchor the Generals infield again this year. He will be counted on to be a productive hitter at the top of the lineup and a leader for the team. The Generals are expecting a big year for Smithson at the plate and in the field.