Smith quietly leading PCA in championship run

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 18, 2001

[05/18/01] Transfers have always made up a fair amount of coach Randy Wright’s teams at Porters Chapel Academy.

But one of this year’s transfers has quietly been the Eagles’ most consistent player in their run at an Academy-A championship with the emphasis on quiet.

Junior infielder T.J. Smith is hitting .444 with one home run, five RBIs and six runs scored in the postseason, but his bat has been the only one talking.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

“I don’t like to talk. I don’t like to be heard,” Smith said with a smile. “Everybody’s always telling me to talk it up in the infield, but I don’t like to talk too much.”

Smith started his high school career at Vicksburg High, but transferred to PCA when it looked like his chances to play baseball and football at the Class 5A school would be limited.

“I really didn’t know we were going to play for the state title. I just wanted to play ball. I didn’t know anything about the team,” Smith said of PCA.

The Gators’ loss has been the Eagles’ gain.

Smith, who plays second and third base, has been solid defensively and has the team’s top batting average for most of the year. He’s currently hitting .379 for the season and is the only PCA player to get at least one hit in every playoff game.

Other transfers have contributed, too. Catcher Walter Bliss, shortstop Catfish Hensley and center fielder Kyle Ehrhardt all transferred from Warren Central, which won the 5A state championship last week, and left fielder Jeremiah Riggs is also a VHS transfer.

But Smith has gotten his job done with less fanfare.

“T.J. has done everything quietly. He has a big hit every game and has an RBI and makes good plays on defense, and you don’t hear anything about it,” Wright said. “We wouldn’t be here without him. He just quietly goes about his way and makes things happen for us.”