Commitment Made

Zach Irwin, a talented two-way player from Madison Central, was heavily recruited by the usual list of suitors. It came down to three instate schools, and on Friday just one.

The 6-foot-3, 240-pound left-handed pitcher and first baseman announced he'll be playing baseball at Ole Miss, becoming a member of the signing class of 2012, inking with the Rebels in November of this year.

"My family and I talked about it (Thursday) night, and I made it official (Friday)," said the junior pitcher who also considered LSU and Alabama before narrowing his choices to Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Southern Mississippi. "It was a pretty tough decision. There were a lot of good programs. It took a little while."

Irwin, considered by some as the best pitcher in Mississippi among high school juniors, said those who he will play for in college had a lot to do with his decision.

"I really like the (Ole Miss) coaching staff, and they were the first people recruiting me when I was a tenth grader," said Irwin, currently a preseason UnderArmour All-American.

There were other reasons Ole Miss was a good fit, according to Irwin.

"I've got some friends that go to Ole Miss," he said. "I've spent a few weekends up in Oxford this past year. I really liked it, and I thought everything was good."

Irwin, an honorable mention All-American by Rawlings last season, said staying in Mississippi was important to him.

"I really wanted to stay instate," he said. "I just couldn't see myself going out of state for college."

A player like Irwin brings to mind former Ole Miss player Stephen Head, who was successful as both a first baseman and a left-handed pitcher. Irwin joins Madison Central High senior pitcher Josh Laxer, who signed in November, as future Rebels.

Irwin has a fast ball he throws in the low 90s. He also has a changeup, a slider, and a curveball.

Irwin said he's 100 percent committed to the Rebels and is glad the selection process for college is over.

"It kind of takes a lot of stress off," he said. "It feels good to have it over with."

Irwin is the third commitment for the upcoming fall signing period for UM, joining two other pitchers - RHP Brady Bramlett of Arlington, Tenn., and RHP Taylor Wallace of Little Rock, Ark.

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