Adding Arms

Ole Miss added to its future arms recently with a commitment from Petal High's Calder Mikell.

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A 6-foot-1, 170-pound right-hander, Mikell chose the Rebels over Southern Mississippi and Mississippi State.

Mikell, a rising senior who will sign with Ole Miss in November, is the fifth pitcher committed so far for the Class of 2014.

"I chose Ole Miss, and I was really impressed," said Mikell, coached in high school by veteran Larry Watkins, longtime Petal High head coach with a filled trophy-case of successful teams under his watch. "I like the way they use their pitching staff and how they train their pitchers. I like the academics and the whole atmosphere."

Mikell said he has "a fast ball 89-93, a curve ball in the high 70s and maybe 80 every now and then. And I have a cutter that's about 78. And I'm working on a splitter."

Mikell had the opportunity to attend any of the three Mississippi schools, all with strong baseball programs and traditions. One was local, with Petal basically being a part of Hattiesburg, and also the two Southeastern Conference programs. But Mikell felt Ole Miss was the place for him, and he made the choice to be a Rebel.

"It was a tough decision, but I'm real confident I made the right decision going to Ole Miss," he said. "I'm glad that's off my mind now."

Watkins said Mikell is a quality pitcher, and that his rising senior pitcher is definitely a competitor.

"He's got an outstanding fast ball and he throws a hard breaking pitch. He's tough, no doubt," Watkins said. "He's a strong kid and very athletic on the mound. He's got a great arm. He's mentally tough, and all aspects of his game have gotten better every year. He has a lot of potential to be even better."

Watkins continues to point out that Mikell is still learning, still growing, improving, and with a lot of upside.

Calder Mikell
File Photo

"He learned to throw a cutter this year. He's got a great curve ball that the bottom just falls out," Watkins said. "He's talented and he just goes out there every day and competes."

In 2012, Mikell was 6-2 with a 2.66 ERA as a sophomore with 58 strikeouts in 44 innings. As a junior in 2013, he was 6-3 with a 2.75 ERA, along with 88 strikeouts in 52 and a third innings.

"I'm just excited to have made my decision, and now I can focus on my senior year," Mikell said.

Here are the other members of the Class of 2014 who are committed to the Rebels in baseball:

Will Golsan, INF, New Hope (Miss.) High School

Ti'quan Forbes, INF, Columbia (Miss.) High School

Tate Blackman, INF, Lake Brantley High School, Altamonte Springs, Fla.

John Wesley Ray, RHP, Christian Brothers High School, Memphis, Tenn.

Brady Feigl, RHP, Central High School, Chesterfield, Mo.

Foster Griffin, LHP, The First Academy, Orlando, Fla.

Michael Fitzsimmons, 1B/3B Memphis (Tenn.) University School

Kyle Watson, INF, Desoto Central (Miss.) High School

Joe Wainhouse, 1B, Kentridge (Wash.) High School

Will Stokes, RHP, West Lauderdale (Miss.) High School

Nic Perkins, catcher, Francis Howell High St. Louis, Mo.

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