April 5, 2009
Adam Minichino - [email protected]
STARKVILLE -- Players don''t have problems transferring from one program to another.
So while Colby Moore might have changed states moving from Pickens Academy (Ala.) to Starkville Academy, his baseball skills weren''t affected.
It didn''t take long for the infielder/pitcher to make his impact on the Volunteers'' program.
"Everything just flowed together and I fit in good," Moore said. "It isn''t really too hard to fit in here because everybody is nice and I like the school."
The smooth transition helped Moore realize a goal Friday morning when he signed a national letter of intent to play baseball at Itawamba Community College in Fulton.
"It is probably one of the most nervous and exciting days I have had in my life," Moore said. "It is something I have worked for my whole life, and I finally get to take the next step."
Moore, a 5-foot-9, 165-pounder, is the Volunteers'' second baseman. He also has seen time on the mound. He said his time playing baseball in the summer helped him realize his goal.
"I feel like (ICC) is where home should be," said Moore, who also considered East Mississippi C.C. "I felt more at home at ICC. I have watched them play and the intensity they play with is something I like."
Starkville Academy coach Justin Brewer said Moore''s size belies the punch he packs at the plate.
"He has produced all year for us," Brewer said. "You can''t say enough about how much he has contributed to our baseball program."
ICC coach Rick Collier had a busy Friday in the Greater Golden Triangle area. Later that morning he traveled to Amory High to sign infielder Kyle Montet to a scholarship.
Collier said Montet was one of the 10 best players from all of the schools in his district.
"He is a good defensive player and he is going to compete for a job up the middle, shortstop or second base," Collier said. "He can play some defense. He is one of the best defensive guys I have seen in our five-county area. He has hit some home runs and is just a good all-around player."
Montet talked with Collier two weeks ago about the prospects of signing with ICC. He said he hasn''t visited the school but plans to major in business or marketing.
"It means a lot to me that I will get to go to college and play baseball," Montet said. "It is something I have set as a goal ever since Little League."
Amory High coach Chad Williams said Montet has been a solid contributor at the plate, in the field, and on the mound. Montet entered the weekend with a 3-1 pitching record and hitting a little better than .300. Williams said Montet had a fielding percentage in the .970 range.
"He is a very good player and he drives the ball to the gaps," Williams said. "He has very good speed and very good range at shortstop. He steps up when the money is on the line."
Williams said Montet is not the most vocal player but is someone who sets a positive example on and off the field. He said Montet does what is expected of him to set the tone for the younger players.
"I don''t see him having a hard time with the transition (to college baseball), especially not from a defensive standpoint," Williams said.
Collier, whose team entered the weekend 27-7 and ranked No. 6 nationally, said he heard about Moore through a friend who watched him in the summer. He said Moore impressed him in a workout at ICC.
"He has a lot of people talking good about him, and I think he will be a great addition to ICC," said Collier, who projects Moore as a right fielder.
Brewer said Moore is one of the hardest working players he has encountered as a coach. He said Moore didn''t have any problems fitting in with his new teammates and has emerged as a leader.
"He is a great baseball player and an even better young man," Brewer said. "With his drive and the effort he has given this year, it really is no secret if he was going to sign a scholarship, it was who he was going to sign with."
Moore had two singles in game two of a doubleheader sweep Friday against Pillow Academy. He walked and was hit by a pitch twice in the opener to move into the team lead for batting average at around .380, Brewer said.
"The sky is the limit for him," Brewer said. "He packs a powerful punch for a little guy. I''d love to see him leave Itawamba and have a successful two years there and go on and have two more successful years (at a four-year school). There is no doubt in my mind he can do that."
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.