TISHOMINGO, OK -- Several Murray State College Aggies have signed on to play baseball at the next level. In fact, all the graduating sophomores from the 2014 team are headed to college in the fall.
“When we recruit players, we consider academic performance as well as performance on the field,” says MSC Head Baseball Coach Zach Crabtree. “It’s important to us that these guys finish their degrees and continue on in school, whether they play baseball or not.”
Infielder Colt Pickens is head to Edmond to join the University of Central Oklahoma team. Pickens is the son of Brent and Sharyl Pickens of Yukon. He was the starting second baseman for the Aggies. He finished the season with a .363 batting average, with12 doubles, 9 homeruns, and 28 RBIs. He also scored 53 runs for the Aggies. Crabtree calls Pickens one of the toughest players he’s ever coached.
“On the baseball field is really hard-nosed. He’s really tough,” says Crabtree. “I don’t know that I’ve ever coached a tougher guy. He played injured for two years here. He’s a difference maker on the field. UCO is getting one of the best second basemen in the country on the field.”
Aggie outfielder Blake Campo is heading to The University of Nebraska at Kearney. Blake Campo is the son Diane Campo of Ardmore, Oklahoma. He played in left field for the Aggies, but Coach Crabtree predicts a move for Campo.
“He’ll probably play center field,” says Crabtree. “Defensively he’s a really good player. He’s very athletic. His biggest assets are his energy, his competitiveness, and his ability to lead his teammates. That will give him an opportunity to step in and play right away.”
Chase Crites, son of Doyen and Debbie Crites of Durant, has signed with Panhandle State University in Goodwell, OK. Due to injuries, Crites didn’t see a lot of time on the field for the Aggies in 2014. Crabtree says Crites has a chance to have a great career at Panhandle State.
“He was hurt a lot this year, which cut into his playing time,” says Crabtree. “He’s a great young man. He’s a great program guy, who works hard and never complains. I think he’ll get to go to Panhandle State and start at either third or first base, and have a good two years for them.”
Despite only getting 63 at-bats on the season, Crites earned ticket to play for Panhandle. He joins Hunter Meyn (34 at-bats) and Jake Hooper (26 at-bats) as Aggies with limited playing time who still impressed recruiters. Crabtree says it shows the caliber of the athletes recruited to play at MSC.
“I think it really says a lot about the type of players that we have, when guys who didn’t start all the time or get as many at-bats are getting scholarships to move on,” he says. “It says volumes about these young men.”
Another Aggie who didn’t get much playing time was B.W. Savage. A member of the 2013 Championship Team, Savage decided to come back for one more year with the Aggies…despite the fact that he already had a spot waiting for him at Oklahoma State University.
“He actually knew that he was going to go to school at OSU last fall,” says Crabtree. “He graduated from Murray State in the spring of 2013. He wasn’t going to play after he left here, so he decided to stay one more year with the team.”
Savage, the son of Basil Jr. and Elizabeth Savage from Madill, was injured most of the 2013 season. That led him to assume more of a leadership role in the team. A role that Crabtree says Savage excelled in. “B.W. is as good a leader and teammate as I’ve had in my four years coaching at Murray State College. He’s just a great young man.”
All 2014 Aggies who have signed are: Daniel Arthur (Wright State), Blake Campo (University of Nebraska at Kearney), Connor Counce (Southeastern Oklahoma State University), Chase Crites (Oklahoma Panhandle State), Brian Greisman (Oklahoma Baptist University), Brandon Grimsley (Southeastern Oklahoma State University), John Hayes (Wichita State University), Jake Hooper (University of Central Oklahoma), Bradley Horn (University of Dayton), Brance Kahle (Incarnate Word University), Hunter Meyn (Coker College), Jake Mitzner (University of Nebraska at Kearney, manager’s scholarship), Colt Pickens (University of Central Oklahoma), Hunter Raley (University of Oklahoma), B.W. Savage (Oklahoma State University, not playing), Austin Stewart (University of Central Oklahoma), John Watson (University of Nebraska at Kearney).