While still adding a few players for the 2016 season, Arkansas State coach Tommy Raffo has picked up three commitments for the Red Wolves’ 2017 class.
Heber Springs outfielder Pierce Mitchum, a three-sport standout for the Panthers, committed to the Red Wolves on Friday.
“When I got up that morning I knew it was the right decision,’’ he said. “I loved everything about the place. I like coach Raffo and coach Sanders; I loved the facilities and the academics the school has. Everything about the school just fit.”
A speedy outfielder, the 5-foot-10, 175-pound Mitchum, batted .420 with a home run this season, one where he helped Heber Springs to its first regional berth in four years.
“I would say speed it my big asset,’’ said Mitchum, a switch hitter who also considered UCA.
When he isn’t playing his first love of baseball, Mitchum, stays busy. He plays football (wide receiver/quarterback/safety) and runs track (sprinter and long jump) and isn’t considering basketball for his senior year, a sport he has not played since he was a freshman. He was all-conference in football and earn All-State honors in track as the Panthers repeated as state champions.
“Baseball is my passion though,’’ he said.
He said his courtship with the Red Wolves began after he registered for a camp in Jonesboro last summer.
“They called the coach of my travel team and were asking questions about me and when I got to the camp I guess they liked what they saw,’’ he said. “I got to meet all of the coaches.”
An unofficial visit followed during football season, when the Red Wolves actually offered, as well as attending several baseball games this season.
The Red Wolves also have commitments from switch-hitting Canadian middle infielder Andrew Leggo and RHP Noah Stone from St. Louis Lutheran South.