Matthew Rozier signs with Ole Miss

Matthew Rozier (RHP, Meridian CC, MS) - The 6' 1", 200 pound right handed pitching prospect from Greenwood (MS) was Meridian CC's pitching utility man, as we saw in the first half of the season with Ole Miss' Matt Maloney.

Matthew became too valuable to just pitch in one game per week, so Meridian moved him into the pen for some games, while he spot started in others.

The end result was just what the doctor ordered, as Mathew pitched a complete game (2 hitter) against Pearl River CC for the State Championship. In fact, Mathew went up against Ole Miss signee, Craig Rodriguez, in a classic match-up. Both pitchers had given up a total of 4 hits and 1 run through eight innings. Craig was taken out of the game in the 9th, and Meridian exploded for the win .

Rozier signed his letter of intent with Ole Miss recently and will arrive in Oxford in July.

The following information was revealed during our interview with Mathew Rozier:

What do you max out at? "I hit 92 mph a bunch of times this year, but I average between 88-90 MPH."

Which pitches are in your arsenal? "Fastball, curveball, change-up, and I throw a real good slider."

Your best pitch? "My fastball."

Pitch you are working on the most? "My curveball."

What are your strengths on the mound? "Probably, I really am not scared of batters. I love challenging them with my fastball, and see if they can come and get it."

What are you working on to make yourself a better pitcher? "I am just working hard and trying to get a lot stronger. I have never been in a conditioning program like Ole Miss where I will lift, eat right, and all of that. That is why I am getting to Ole Miss in early July instead of playing summer ball. I want to get over there and get started."

Tell us about your freshman season at Meridian? "I started the first half, but then our closer, Jason Phillips, blew out his arm. I took his role . I think I was 6-3 with a 2.37 ERA."

What about this past season? "I had a good season. I started off really good early, but later in the year, I caught a ball off my foot. I was in a walking cast for a 10 days, but I came right back. I pitched against Craig Rodriguez in the state championship game. Coach told me to give him 5 good innings, but I gave him 9. I had to do what I could to help the team. I pitched through the pain and now we are the state champs."

What were your stats? "8-2. I am not real sure about the rest of my stats, but I believe I had a 2.0 ERA, but I am not just positive about that either. I know I threw in 80 something innings."

Any awards? "I was named All-District."

Which schools offered you before you decided on Ole Miss? "USM offered me before Ole Miss. That is when Coach McDonnell called. Maryland offered me as well. S' Eastern Missouri State and Delta State offered too."

Why did you choose Ole Miss? "I really like the coaches and seeing what they have done during the last 4 to 5 years. They have really turned that program around. Just seeing their facilities on my visit was awesome. But the biggest thing is that they told me they could help me out school wise because I have dyslexic, so that made feel at ease."

What role does Ole Miss have in store for you? "They really have not said. Out of high school, they wanted me to be their closer. They told me they were going to have to wait and see what I do in the fall before they know for sure. I could become their closer, or work out of the bullpen, or become a starter. It really does not matter to me. I just want to see us win one more game than we did this year so we can get to Omaha."

Have you set any personal goals? "I would like to start but middle relief would be great too. I pitch under pressure better than most people. Just whatever the team needs, I will do."

Matthew is a full qualifier.

To view the list of Ole Miss baseball signees for the '04/'05 class, click here.

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