EMCC inks Quitman hurler
By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
July 10, 2003
QUITMAN The East Mississippi Community College baseball team added a new arm to its bullpen arsenal Wednesday afternoon.
Right-handed pitcher Jonathan Russell signed to play for the Lions next season in the Quitman High School library.
EMCC is getting more than a pitcher in Russell.
The Panthers hurler, who posted a 6-3 record in his senior year with a 2.10 ERA, will also play for the football team.
Russell played quarterback and handled the kicking and punting duties for Quitman, and he will join the gridiron Lions, as a redshirt freshman, as well next season.
Russell will bring a fastball that has been clocked at 87 MPH, a curve ball and a change up to the Lions' mound.
Quitman head baseball coach Brett Rigby said Russell will also bring a lot of flexibility for where EMCC can use him on the baseball field to the team.
Baldner said he plans to use Russell, who pitches with a submarine-type style, primarily on the mound.
The Lions skipper said the new pitcher has a chance to be in the team's starting rotation as a freshman.
Russell, who struck out 78 batters while issuing only 24 walks, has set a goal of making the starting rotation at EMCC.
Russell said he is happy to be staying close to home while continuing his education and athletic career.
The young man, who plans to major in criminal justice, said being close to home should help him adjust to the junior college-level of academics and athletics.
He will also need to get used to playing two sports on a higher level.
The coaches at EMCC will try to make the transition of being a multi-sport athlete in high school to junior college as easy as possible for Russell.
Bill Russell said he and his wife are very happy their son has the chance to continue learning and playing at the junior college level.