HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) _ University of Southern Mississippi baseball got an early jump on the Class of 2020, bringing in 11 players during Decembers early signing period.
Ten of the 11 signees are high schoolers, with four from Mississippi, including West Jones High School pitcher/shortstop Dustin Dickerson and Sumrall High School outfielder Billy Garrity.
“We have put together another solid group of additions for our program starting for the 2020 season,” USM head baseball coach Scott Berry said. “Associate head coach Chad Caillet and Christian Ostrander did a great job going out and identifying the type of players that thrive in our baseball program, ones that excel both on the field and in the classroom.
“We look forward to them joining us next fall.”
The signees included:
- Matt Adams (6 feet, 1 inch, 170 pounds), right-handed pitcher; helped Pearland High School to 25-11 mark last spring; tossed a six-inning, no-hitter as a sophomore; two-time, first-team All-District 23-6 A; member of 2014 Pearland Little League team that went to the World Series in Williamsport, Pa.
- Michael Brewer (6- 4, 215), right-handed pitcher/infielder; hit .429 as a junior at Hillsboro (Mo.) High School; had four doubles, four triples and two home runs with 20 RBIs in 56 at-bats; appeared in 10 games as a pitcher, including six starts, posting 3-1 mark with 3.73 earned run average; posted 51 strikeouts, 14 walks, over 35 2/3 innings; first-team Jefferson County Activities Association in both basketball and baseball
- Chandler Best (5-11, 185), left-handed pitcher; holds a 25-1 record with 194 strikeouts in three seasons at McGill-Toolen High School in Mobile, Ala.; posted 103 strikeouts last spring with ERA of 0.66; struck out 15 of 21 Murphy High School batters he faced in perfect game effort; hit .327 with 20 RBIs as a junior; named first-team All-State Class 7A by the Alabama Sports Writers Association
- Dustin Dickerson (5-4, 160), infielder; heading into fourth season as a starter for former Golden Eagle star Trey Sutton at West Jones High School in Soso; has hit .283 over past three seasons, including .333 as a junior; went 8-1 with 1.18 ERA in 14 appearances; led all Mustangs with 83 Ks in 66 1/3 innings; helped the Mustangs go 27-5, advance to the MHSAA South State championship baseball series for just the fourth time in school history
- Dallas Dyar (6-3, 195), right-handed pitcher; has gone 5-2 in 14 appearances over past two season for Clinton High School; carries a 2.69 ERA with 65 strikeouts and 30 walks over 54 2/3 innings; played in the 2018 Mississippi State Games this summer
- Ben Ethridge (6-1, 170), right-handed pitcher; part of three West Lauderdale High School teams that accumulated 76 wins and 2017 MHSAA Class 4A state baseball championship; went 9-2 with a 1.07 ERA last season, with 90 strikeouts and 14 walks in 59 innings; hit .377 with 15 runs scored and nine RBIs as a junior
- Brady Faust (5-10, 175), infielder; hit.352 with 13 RBIs and 11 stolen bases as junior at Brother Martin High School in New Orleans; All-District selection; All-District wide receiver, caught winning TD pass in final seconds to defeat Bastrop (La.) High School
- Billy Garrity (6-0, 200), outfielder; has hit .315 with 15 home runs and 87 RBIs in 96 games over three season for Sumrall High School; hit .341 with eight home runs as a junior; hit .377 as a sophomore with seven home runs; played quarterback for the Bobcats though a hip injury sidelined him this fall; is expected to be a full go for his final high school baseball season
- Cody Milligan (5-9, 175), catcher/outfielder; went 1-for-8 in 15 games with Oklahoma State University in 2018 before leaving to transfer to Cowley County Community College in Arkansas City, Kan.; the Bunger, Kan., native helped Binger-Oney High School to consecutive Class A state baseball titles; hit .571 with 19 home runs, 12 doubles and five triples with 49 RBIs as a senior’ named a 2017 MaxPreps Small School All-American
- Isaiah Rhodes (6-2, 155), right-handed pitcher; All-District selection out of McKinney (Texas) North High School; posted a no-hitter as a sophomore, striking out seven and walking one
- Blake Wehunt (6-6, 218), right-handed pitcher; selected All-Region 8-AAA as pitcher and fielder for Franklin County High School in Carnesville, Ga.; named Region 8-AAA Player O’Year last spring; threw a 5-inning perfect game as a sophomore in which he struck out 10 batters
USM will open the 2019 season when the Golden Eagles host Purdue University Feb. 15-17 at Pete Taylor Park.