Tyler Smith signs on to play for Alcorn State

Published 11:01 pm Saturday, July 25, 2015

Vicksburg High graduate Tyler Smith signed to play baseball with Alcorn State.

Vicksburg High graduate Tyler Smith signed to play baseball with Alcorn State.

For the past couple of years, Tyler Smith has been a regular at Alcorn State’s baseball games. Next season, he’ll have a much better seat.

Smith, a former Vicksburg High star, recently signed a national letter of intent to play baseball at Alcorn. It was a dream come true for the 5-foot-11, 170-pound pitcher, who said he started following the program long before he was recruited by it.

“I was looking to become an Alcorn Brave. I was looking at them through my junior and senior year. I went to a lot of games, and liked what I saw,” Smith said. “It’s a dream come true. I would’ve rather have gotten it done sooner, but as long as I have an opportunity to continue to play baseball I’m happy.”

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Smith played four years of varsity baseball at Vicksburg, including the last three as a starter.

He had a career record of 6-14, with three saves in 32 appearances. His best season was in 2014, when he was 3-4 with 28 strikeouts in 26 1/3 innings.

Smith also played outfield for the Gators, but said he expected to be used as a pitcher at Alcorn.

“I would rather play both, but I think they’re looking at me as a pitcher because that’s what I mainly played,” Smith said.

Smith, who graduated from Vicksburg with honors in May, signed late in the recruiting year.

Alcorn’s head coach, Barrett Rey, recently left the school and that put a crimp in the process, Smith said.

Smith added that Alcorn’s remaining coaches started recruiting him during the summer and he stepped up his preparation. The scholarship offer came in mid-July, and Smith signed on July 18.

“When I found out they were looking at me, I started working on my strength and conditioning,” he said. “I’ve been running and studying the game more. Looking up ways to throw and hit better, so once I get there I won’t be behind.”

Playing Division I baseball at a program he’s a fan of is a strong motivator to improve, he said.

“It’s a blessing. I couldn’t ask for anything more,” Smith said.

“I just know I have to keep improving my game on and off the field, and be a student-athlete first.”


About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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