POPLARVILLE — Pearl River’s baseball program put the finishing touches on its large 2019 signing class Thursday, locking in 13 newcomers.
As of Friday, Perfect Game had the Wildcats’ class as the best in all of junior college baseball.
“We are very excited to welcome this 2019 class to our program. From top to bottom, this class is filled with young men who are very talented but more importantly extremely high character and a perfect fit for Pearl River baseball,” PRCC coach Michael Avalon said. “A lot of credit goes to my staff, starting with our recruiting coordinator, Coach (Anthony) Izzio, Coach (Drew) LaBounty and Coach (Sam) Roberson for the recruitment of these young men and their families.
“We are humbled and thankful that they chose to join our Wildcat Family.”
The class is comprised by LHP Kole Alford (North Pike), C Graham Crawford (Sumrall), RHP Landon Gartman (Enterprise Attendance Center), OF/RHP Kris Jones (Oak Grove), RHP/INF Leif Moore (St. Martin), OF/INF/RHP Eric Newsom (Germantown), OF/LHP Kris Riley (West Jones) INF/OF/RHP Von Siebert (Daphne), C/OF/RHP Nick Skaggs (Biloxi), RHP Shelby Terrell (West Marion), INF Reed Trimble (Northwest Rankin), INF Bryson Ware (Germantown) and INF Taylor Woodcock (West Harrison).
“This class will be asked to step in, replace many talented players, and make an impact immediately,” Avalon said. “With that said, I am confident these young men will be successful and, in doing so, will continue pushing this program to new heights.”
Alford joins PRCC from North Pike, where he is coached by George Lott.
“Kole is one of the best left-handed pitchers in the state,” Avalon said. “He’s coming off of Tommy John surgery but will be at full strength by the time he steps onto campus.”
Crawford comes from prep powerhouse Sumrall, where he’s coached by Larry Knight.
“Graham is an athletic defensive catcher who brings a premium versatility on offense as a switch hitter,” Avalon said.
Gartman is a right-handed pitcher from Brookhaven, where he’s coached by Cass Brister.
“Landon is one of the elite power arms in the state,” Avalon said. “He should contribute immediately.”
Jones should play in the outfield and pitcher after standing out at Oak Grove, where he’s coached by Chris McCardle.
“Kris has a high ceiling on the mound and should be able to play all three outfield positions,” Avalon said.
Like a number of players in the class, Moore brings a versatile arsenal of skills to Poplarville. He prepped at St. Martin, where he’s coached by Kary Bridges.
“Leif is a potential difference maker on the mound,” Avalon said. “He should also contribute to the team as an infielder.”
A well-rounded athlete, Newsom is coached by Brian Hardy at Germantown.
“Eric is a two-way player whose physicality projects as a middle-of-the-order hitter,” Avalon said. “He should help in relief.”
Riley is one of two southpaws in the class. He prepped at West Jones, where he’s coached by Trey Sutton.
“Kris is a left-handed pitcher and outfielder who should make an impact for us in both areas,” Avalon said.
The lone out-of-state signee, Siebert is coached by Brent Boyd.
“An extremely physical player, Von should provide immediate impact in the middle of the lineup and in the late innings as a reliever,” Avalon said.
Skaggs is another multitalented addition to the class. He prepped at Biloxi, where he’s coached by Eddie Lofton.
“Nick is one of the more versatile players in the class who should contribute as a pitcher, catcher and in the outfield,” Avalon said.
Terrell joins the PRCC family from West Marion, where he’s coached by Derrick Jerkins.
“Shelby is another quality arm from West Marion,” Avalon said. “We anticipate him being very successful in our program.”
Trimble signed with PRCC after learning from coach Jeff McClaskey at Northwest Rankin.
“Reed is an extremely high IQ baseball player who has plus tools defensively and offensively,” Avalon said.
Prep teammates with Newsom, Ware is also coached by Brian Hardy at Germantown.
“Bryson is a tremendous athlete who is physical and possess plus actions in the infield,” Avalon said.
Woodcock is also an infielder who was coached by David Marsland at West Harrison.
“Taylor is a natural leader whose high energy matches his abilities and talents,” Avalon said.
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Pearl River's baseball team announced the addition of 13 newcomers on Friday. PRCC's 2019 signing class is touted as one of the best nationally, according to Perfect Game. (JUCOWeekly.org)