South By Northwest

Joe Wainhouse said he lived in Georgia for part of his youth. When the Seattle, Washington, area product visited Ole Miss last winter, even then he knew it was where he needed to be.

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The south, even during the latter stages of winter, beats baseball weather for much of the season in the state of Washington.

"I went down there on a visit earlier this year," said Wainhouse, a rising senior at Kentridge High School near Seattle. "When I made that visit, I knew that was where I wanted to go."

Wainhouse was down for the Rebels' sweep of Rhode Island in February. He had options for college, but it came down to the Rebels and a nearby powerhouse baseball program. Still it was the pull of the south and what he saw in Oxford that made the difference.

"Oregon State was the other school I really considered," he said. "I liked the city (of Oxford), and everything about the school, even the buildings and the way things looked. And I really did not want to stay in the northwest. I love the south. The atmosphere at the games is so different there than it is up here. I just knew it was where I wanted to be."

Wainhouse has been around the game all his life. His father, Dave Wainhouse, is a former major league pitcher for Seattle, Montreal, Pittsburgh, Colorado, and St. Louis and is now pitching coach at Seattle University.

Joe Wainhouse
File Photo

Joe Wainhouse stands 6-foot-6 and weighs in at 250 pounds currently. He plays first base and also some outfield, which means he can run and is athletic for a big guy.

He said he has power but doesn't necessarily call himself a power hitter. He has another name for that.

"I like to say it this way. The big thing is I don't try to just hit for power. My thought process at the plate is to try to be a hitter with power more than a power hitter," he said. "I like to be able to hit balls to all parts of the field."

Wainhouse, who bats left and throws right, is his high school's all-time leader in doubles and RBI. He's close to the school record for home runs. And this is all with a season of prep baseball left.

This past season, in district play to go to the state playoffs, Wainhouse's team had to play a doubleheader. In those two games he was a combined 5-for-8 with four doubles and a single. His team advanced to state and finished third in Class 4A, the largest in Washington.

A second-team all-state player this past season as a junior, he wants the year he has left before he gets to Ole Miss to be a productive one.

"I want to get in even better shape before I get down there," he said. "Next summer before I get there I want to try to play in the Pacific Coast League, the collegiate summer league here in the northwest, just so I can get used to the college game and the speed of the game before I get down there. That way I can be a little more comfortable when I get to Ole Miss."

As for now, he's playing summer baseball with a team in his area and working toward a successful senior season at Kentridge High. And happy to have his college decision behind him.

"I couldn't be more excited to be going to Ole Miss," he said. "I just knew for a long time I wanted to go to Ole Miss. I wanted to get that done so I can go out and just play baseball now. It feels good to have that all done."

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