Lefty heading to UT

The Tennessee baseball team continues to rack up commitments from within the state borders. Sign in or subscribe now to see what this left-handed pitcher had to say about the Volunteers to InsideTennessee.com.

If magical faucets in hard-to-find places poured out left-handed pitching, baseball coaches from all walks of life would dive to their knees with buckets aplenty to scoop up any southpaw they could carry back to their roster.

Tennessee coach Dave Serrano didn't have to navigate through any enchanted woods to get one of the state's most winningest prep pitchers, Colton Harris.

After first getting a scholarship offer from Serrano a week ago and taking an unofficial visit last weekend, Harris discussed his future with his family while chowing down on some barbecue in Knoxville.

Before the main course even arrived, the decision was made and Harris called his future coach to give his commitment to Tennessee.

"I really like the campus a lot," Harris told InsideTennessee.com. "It's one of the nicest facilities I've ever seen. The coaches were straight up with me and told me they were looking to win and told me I was a winner and they wanted me there. Coach Serrano is a really good coach, and he's has always been a winning coach. So, I'm sure he can get the program back and going."

Serrano comes to Knoxville with a career record of 289-139-1. In 1995, he was an assistant on the Tennessee staff that led the Volunteers to a school-record 54 wins.

In 2010, Serrano's expertise with pitchers was called upon for Team USA as he worked under Bill Kinneberg.

Harris, 17, is quite confident that the arms taking the mound under Serrano will exude confidence and boast a never-ending education that leads to missing bats.

"It pretty much assures me that we're going to win, and we're going to be a good pitching staff," Harris said. "Having a winning coach with winning pitchers in the past, it helps out a lot knowing that I'm going to a program with one of the best pitching coaches in the country and one of the most winningest coaches in the country."

At 5-foot-10, 165 pounds, the southpaw isn't exactly a C.C. Sabathia clone. However, the Halls native already shows mound savvy and makeup with an ability to throw all of his pitches for strikes and in any count.

Under the guidance of Dyer County coach Preston Ozment, Harris has compiled a career record of 32-5.

Back on May 22, 2009, as a freshman, Harris toed the rubber for all seven innings without issuing a walk to lead Dyer County to an 8-4 win to clinch the TSSAA Class AA state championship.

In June, taking the mound for the second straight year for his home state in the Junior Sunbelt Classic, Harris picked up a pair of victories in McAlester, Okla.

That performance for Team Tennessee not only showed that Harris could get more advanced hitters back in the dugout, it also allowed him to play with some future teammates.

Joining Harris on the 2010 team were friends and Vol signees Jared Allen of Delano, Mookie Betts from Nashville, David Horne of Columbia, Drew Masingale of Athens and Parker Wormsley of Knoxville.

Andrew Lee from Morristown teamed up with the lefty on the 2011 Team Tennessee squad. As of Monday morning, Lee will be joining Harris on The Hill as well.

"Going up there and already knowing somebody helps out a lot," Harris said.

Team Tennessee compiled a two-year record of 19-1 at the Sunbelt, including a championship-winning performance this summer.

Commitment No. 5 for Serrano owns a 3.3 GPA and scored a 22 on the ACT.

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