Following The Dream

It was the proverbial no-brainer for Scott Weathersby when he was given the opportunity to pitch for the Ole Miss Rebels. As another saying goes, he jumped at the chance.

"I have been going to football and baseball games there since I was three years old," said the right-handed senior pitcher at Oak Grove High School near Hattiesburg. "It's like a dream come true."

The 6-foot-2, 170-pound 18-year-old had some options, but none matched Ole Miss as far as he was concerned.

"I held out for a while, hoping things would work out," he said of his opportunity to play for the Rebs. "Southern (Mississippi) was a possibility. Mississippi State, Samford and UAB were interested. Eastern Kentucky offered, and so did Pearl River Community College and Meridian Community College."

He throws an 88-90 mph fastball and topped out this season at 94. Game to game he usually throws it 91-92. He has a 12-6 curveball he throws 72-74. His changeup is 75-78. In the last year he has developed a hard slider he throws 78-80 and uses as his out pitch.

Weathersby, whose high school head coach is former Ole Miss baseball and football player Chris McCardle, is 8-1 so far this season with a second-round Class 6A series to begin Friday against Terry High School. His ERA this season is 1.04, and he has 88 strikeouts and only 11 walks. As a high school junior, he was 5-1 with a 2.5 ERA.

He threw a no-hitter against Madison-Ridgeland Academy this season and it would have been a perfect game if not for a couple of errors by the OGHS defense. In that contest, Weathersby struck out 14 batters. He's pitched four shutouts this season.

Weathersby will play in the Mississippi High School All-Star Game at Trustmark Park in Pearl this spring. Other honors have yet to be awarded this season, since play is still going on. Last season he was first-team All-Area and was named a Fab 15 from south Mississippi. In addition to his playing field honors, Weathersby has been included in the Oak Grove High School Hall of Fame and was voted Mr. Oak Grove by his fellow students.

Weathersby, who plans to play for the Mississippi Stars team this summer, said he is looking forward to preparing for his time in Oxford.

"I want to get stronger throughout the summer," he said. "I have good arm strength, and I want to get bigger and stronger. I know that should also improve my velocity. I want to work on my slider. I've only been throwing it around four to five months. I want to work to command that pitch."

For now he wants to help his high school, with a glorious baseball tradition, win another state title.

"Hopefully there is another state championship out there to talk about in a few weeks," he said.

Before and after that, there is the excitement of continuing to play baseball and doing so at Ole Miss.

"It's been a stressful process," Weathersby said. "A lot of people had already committed and signed. This is the option I was hoping for. I feel really blessed to be able to play where I've dreamed of playing.

"I'm looking forward to being a Rebel."

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