Hinds hauls in three from city|College baseball

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 22, 2010

Hinds Community College coach Sam Temple returned to his native Vicksburg on Thursday to replenish his roster.

Temple signed three players — St. Aloysius infielders Pierson Waring and Ryno Martin-Nez, along with Vicksburg High pitcher Jacob Thomas — to scholarships for the 2011 season.

“It’s unbelievable for me to come back to my hometown and get two players like Ryno and Pierson,” Temple said after the double signing at the St. Al library. “I’ve known their families for years and these are two great young men. I’m just glad they chose us.”

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Martin-Nez and Waring helped the Flashes win the 2009 MHSAA Class 1A championship. Martin-Nez, though, tore two knee ligaments and his miniscus during football season. He said Thursday that he is halfway through rehab and expects to play baseball by the end of this season.

“It’s better,” Martin-Nez said. “They are going to fit me with a brace and in another three months, I should be able to do everything, throw, field and hit. I expect to be back for the playoffs.”

Temple said he wasn’t scared off by the injury.

“The injury will take care of itself and I think by the fall he’ll be at 100 percent. And then with two years of juco baseball we’ll have him ready for where ever he wants to go,” Temple said.

Temple’s record of developing players has been impressive. On his current team, nine Eagle sophomores have been signed to four-year schools, including seven to Division I.

That convinced Martin-Nez and Waring to spend the next two seasons in Raymond.

“It’s going to be tremendous to be a part of the Hinds program. I hope to be a great asset and become the best player I can. I think having played under coach (Clint) Wilkerson, I’ll be more prepared than most,” Martin-Nez said.

Last year, Martin-Nez hit .386 with 25 RBIs and 43 runs scored. He also went 6-2 as a pitcher in a No. 2 role after three seasons as the team’s ace.

Waring was one of the top hitters in Warren County with a .456 average, and led the county in runs (53) and RBIs (48). With Martin-Nez out until April, Waring will become the Flashes’ primary shortstop and will also be counted on to eat up some  innings as a pitcher.

“Shortstop shouldn’t be a big deal because I played it all summer for the Jackson 96ers,” Waring said. “Pitching, though, will be a little different.”

The signing of Martin-Nez and Waring gives Temple eight for the early period. Also inking with Hinds are Alex and Andrew Gunn of Clinton; Joseph Veasey and Carey Taylor of Brandon; Caleb Baucom of Hillcrest; and Thomas from Vicksburg.

Thomas, a lefty, has gone 8-3 over the last two seasons with 46 strikeouts in 44 innings pitched. He also hit .405 with two home runs and 13 RBIs last season.

“Jacob Thomas has a great future with us. He’s a left-handed pitcher with a great frame and I think he will make huge strides with us. And I think he can swing the bat well,” Temple said.

Temple said he is excited about the season that opens Feb. 13 in Raymond against Mississippi Delta. Former Porters Chapel standout and Mississippi State transfer Michael Busby will start at first base for Hinds. He is one of the seven Division I signees, having inked in the fall with UAB.

The Eagles also had Fraser Adams, Brent Gay and Jason Hicks sign with Louisiana Monroe, while pitcher Ryan Nance will join Busby at UAB.


Contact Jeff Byrd at jbyrd@vicksburgpost.com