Chavez sold on Oxford, Ole Miss

Dylan Chavez is following the same path to Ole Miss as fellow Californian R.J. Hively. Only the locales have changed.

Hively, a right-handed pitcher in his first semester at Ole Miss, transferred in as a junior from Santa Ana Community College in Orange County. Before that he had been at Cal State-Fullerton as a freshman member of the Titans' baseball program.

Chavez, who committed to Ole Miss recently, is a sophomore at American River College, a two-year school in Sacramento. Prior to that, the 6-foot-3, 190-pound left-handed pitcher played as a freshman at St. Mary's College in Moraga.

Chavez, from Rancho Murieta, Calif., chose Ole Miss over Miami (Fla.), Oregon State, and Tennessee.

Dylan Chavez

He visited Ole Miss this fall and liked what he saw. He will sign next week and arrive sometime next summer.

"I loved everything I saw there," he said of his recent visit to Ole Miss. "I really liked Oxford. The facilities are great. I saw a lot of talent on the team."

The Ole Miss coaches saw talent in Chavez. Rebel assistant coach Matt Mossberg, himself a Californian, saw him pitch at a juco showcase in Sacramento. That got things started and eventually Chavez ended up deciding on Ole Miss.

"It's a great feeling knowing I'm going to a great school," said Chavez, who joins another recent Ole Miss commitment from the area, right-handed pitcher Jesse DeLong of San Francisco and the College of Marin. "Now I don't have to worry about it, and I can focus on my final season here."

Chavez already had a bit of a "Southern" taste this calendar year. During his freshman season last spring, St. Mary's played a three-game series at Tulane, and also a three-game series at Southern Mississippi.

Against the Golden Eagles, Chavez pitched two innings of relief, striking out four USM batters.

He was mainly a reliever at St. Mary's but had two starts last season. He says he probably prefers starting but isn't worried about it at this point.

"I really like being a starter," Chavez said. "But I am going there (to Ole Miss) to compete and help the team. I know there are no guarantees. I want to have a good fall (2011) and pitch well to prepare for the season."

Chavez throws a fastball 88-92, and he has a changeup, a slider, and is working on a split finger and a cutter.

The Pleasant Grove High School (Elk Grove, Calif.) 2009 graduate was named to several all-star teams in his area and also picked up quite a few honors. At St. Mary's last spring, Chavez appeared in 18 games and had a 1-1 record and 6.15 ERA.

"I want to become more consistent," he said. "I want to work on making big pitches and improve in every area."

Chavez has had another treat this fall. The professional team he roots for brought home a world championship trophy. He says he's been a longtime fan of the San Francisco Giants.

"It was great to see them finally win," he said. "I've been to some games and loved them. I've followed them for a long time."

Next year in the postseason, he will simply be following them from Mississippi.

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