Fulfilling A Goal

Chris Ellis knew where he wanted to play baseball in college. So when he visited Ole Miss for a camp last weekend, he committed to the Rebels.

The 6-foot-5, 195-pound right-handed pitcher from Spain Park High School in Hoover, Ala., had offers from Alabama, Auburn, and South Alabama as well.

"But Ole Miss is where I always wanted to go," said the junior who will sign with Ole Miss in November.

His parents, Rob and Sheryl Ellis, both originally from Mississippi, attended Ole Miss along with a host of family members past and present.

Ellis pitched his freshman season as a member of the Goodpasture Christian School 2A state championship team in Madison, Tenn., before his family moved prior to his 10th grade year to the Birmingham area.

Last season as a sophomore Ellis pitched for Spain Park and was undefeated. In the summer he pitched for the Alabama Heat and was 4-0 along with two saves and a 0.00 ERA. He then pitched for a team in Louisiana called Marucci Elite where he impressed his coach.

"Chris is long, lanky and is very projectable," Coach Chad Raley said. "He'll throw at a high velocity, and he has a bulldog mentality. He'll get after you."

Ellis' fast ball topped out at 92 mph last weekend, and he normally throws it 89-92. He also has a changeup, a curve ball, and a slider already in his arsenal.

"I want to keep increasing my fast ball and develop an even better curve ball," Ellis said. "And I'd like to get stronger, up to around 210 pounds."

Those are but a few of his goals before he reaches Oxford in two years. A fierce competitor, Ellis has the reputation as a team player and a tireless worker.

He began to be looked at by college recruiters as a freshman at Goodpasture when one of his teammates, pitcher Adam Adkins, was being recruited and eventually signed with Tennessee. Another Goodpasture pitcher, Darnell Logan, signed with Kentucky.

So coaches in Division I baseball began to notice Ellis. Then came the move to Spain Park, and at the Class 6A school it was almost like starting over as a sophomore. Ellis had to prove himself as his new high school squad competed in the largest classification in Alabama and against some of metro Birmingham's best, like Hoover, Pelham, Vestavia Hills, and Mountain Brook.

But Ellis stepped up and remains undefeated as a high school varsity pitcher. He will attempt to continue that torrid pace this season as a junior and next year as a senior.

Then he will continue his dream of playing for the Ole Miss Rebels.

"There's no way to describe my excitement," Ellis said of his decision to commit to The University of Mississippi. "To play for Ole Miss will fulfill the goal I've always had, and that's to play baseball there. Then I want to help get us to Omaha."

Ellis is the Rebels' third commitment for the November signing period, joining LHP/OF Chase Reeves of Hamilton and RHP Hawtin Buchanan of Biloxi.

OM Spirit Top Stories