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 .
signed his letter of intent with Ole Miss recently and will arrive in Oxford in
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."
pitches are in your arsenal? "Fastball, curveball, change-up, and I throw
a real good slider."
Your best pitch? "My fastball."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
is a full qualifier.
To view the list of Ole Miss baseball signees
for the '04/'05 class, click
Matthew Rozier signs with Ole Miss
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