The latest commitment comes from Jackson Hillcrest's star right handed pitcher, as he choose the Rebels over MSU and USM. All three schools offered.
"I felt like Ole Miss gave me a better opportunity than the other colleges to get to the World Series," added Austin Hartzog. "Ole Miss is competing for the SEC championship every year. They have an amazing program."
There was also another factor that weighed in heavily in his decision.
"Ole Miss has two pitching coaches in Carl Lafferty and Mike Bianco. Coach
Bianco works with the pitchers, and I took a look at his track record from the
past pitchers he has coached at Ole Miss. I just feel like Ole Miss is where
I needed to be."
Hartzog committed to the Rebels after viewing the South Carolina games in the stands.
"I went and watched them play South Carolina. Their fans and the stadium are amazing. It is all about baseball at Ole Miss. MSU was recruiting me hard too. They came and watched me pitch, and we started talking every week. I went up there and took a visit, and they wanted me to come back on another visit after I got back from the Ole Miss/South Carolina game, but I had already made up my mind. I also went on a visit to USM and Meridian CC. They all have great programs too, but Ole Miss was just where I wanted to be."
The 6' 3", 205 pound right hand pitcher was the catalyst for Jackson Hillcrest's championship run as a sophomore as he went 6-2 on the mound with a 1.52 ERA and batted .450 with 3 HR's.
"I was named Best Hitter (at Jackson Hillcrest Christian), 2nd Team All-Conference, 2nd Team All-Metro, and I was one of three sophomores in Mississippi that was selected to the Sun Belt Showcase tournament. They invite the Top 20 juniors in Mississippi to compete against the other states. We played team Arizona, Oklahoma, and Canada. I did pretty good. I went 6 innings and had a pretty good showing. A lot of the colleges started asking about me then."
Who were the other two current juniors from Mississippi that were selected?
"Michael Manly out of Terry and Josh Rogers from Hillcrest Christian."
The Jackson native throws a fastball that averages 89-91 MPH and tops out at 95.
"I throw a fastball, splitter and a curveball. My curveball is actually my out pitch when I get two strikes on the batter. I throw my curveball because it is the most effective pitch."
This season Austin has gotten off to another fast start as he is 3-0 with a 2.12 ERA. He has 55 K's and 18 walks through 30.1 innings of work.
The Rebels have been busy collecting commitments for the ’10 class as RHP Bobby Wahl (Springfield, VA), RHP Preston Overbey (University School of Jackson/TN), and OF Jimel Judon (Myrtle/MS) have all given their verbal pledge to sign with Ole Miss next November.
Notes on other commits
Overbey (6’ 3”, 210) is ranked the #2 player in Tennessee
and is ranked the #102 player in the country. He picked Ole Miss over scholarship
offers from MSU, Tennessee, and Louisville.
To view Preston in action, click here.
** RHP Bobby Wahl (6’ 3”, 200) out of Springfield
(VA) is ranked the #78 national prospect in the country. He was offered by numerous
schools but chose the Rebels over North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia,
and Clemson. Wahls throws it hard and is consistently in the 88-92 MPH range.
He is also friends with Matt and Mike Snyder, who both hail from Virginia.
To view a video interview with Bobby, click here.
**Lastly, Ole Miss landed perhaps the player with the most upside in the state of Mississippi in CF Jimel Judon (6’ 5”, 205) out of Myrtle (MS).
He plays for the Mississippi Prospects and is a three way sports star for Myrtle.
To watch his video, click