South Panola baseball star chooses Rebs

The pipeline from South Panola to Oxford has been a one-sport situation, but a top pitching prospect changed that Thursday by choosing Ole Miss as his future baseball home.

David Renfroe, one Mississippi's best pitching prospects for 2009, committed to the Rebels' coaching staff Thursday night, putting an end to his recruitment early.

"I made my decision, and I couldn't be more excited," Renfroe told The Ole Miss Spirit. "They are telling me I can come in and be a two-way guy. Coach Reinstetle says I can be the next star over there. You can't ignore it when you hear that."

The South Panola junior features a fastball ranging from the high 80s to the mid 90s along with a breaking ball and a change-up. Renfroe also mans the middle infield at shortstop and can move around the bases offensively.

In 2007, Renfroe hit .549 with five home runs and 34 RBI while stealing 30 bases. He finished just 6-3 on the mound after battling tendonitis throughout most of the season.

"The tendonitis was still there for a lot of football season as well because I was throwing so much," Renfroe said. "But I rested over Christmas and am healthy now. Due to football and baseball, I throw year around.

"I love football, but it is mostly a way to stay in shape for baseball season. Baseball is my love."

The right-hander continued the Tigers' football dominance this past season by leading South Panola to another state title in his first year as the starting quarterback.

Ole Miss was the first team to offer Renfroe and put a scholarship on the table worth approximately 95 percent.

"I didn't know a lot about other schools," Renfroe said. "I have been to State. They were going to offer me and still might. LSU was looking at me. But Ole Miss offered first, and they were my number one.

"Coach Bianco is a great guy, and everyone tells me what an exceptional coach he is. Coach Reinstetle and myself have been able to establish an outstanding relationship. It was a great fit all the way around."

Now healthy, Renfroe is looking forward to returning to form for the Tigers this season and getting strong and more experience before entering college.

"I am a bulldog out on the mound and love to battle with the hitters by making them put the ball in play," Renfroe said. "I don't give away walks. They have to hit the baseball. Hitters can't go up there looking for a free pass. They won't get that with me.

"It was pretty much Ole Miss from the start. Everybody asked me where I was going, and I told them all it would be Ole Miss."

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