By Brent Huelsmann
Another key player for the Nashville Hornets this season will be playing baseball at the next level as Austin Anderson has signed his letter of intent to play baseball at John A. Logan College after graduation.
Anderson is coming off a great season the Nashville Hornets baseball team, as he finished with a 4-2 record with a 1.328 ERA. Anderson was second on the team in strikeouts, with 68, and with 58 innings pitched. Anderson also batted .292 at the plate with 1 HR, 8 doubles, 16 runs scored, and 11 RBIs.
Anderson started the first game of the year for Nashville last season as they faced off against Rockford Lutheran. Anderson pitched in the most games last season for the Hornets, as he appeared in 12 games.
Anderson is coming off a year in which he was named the Most-Improved Player, on a team that finished 27-6, won the Southern Illinois River-to-River Conference Mississippi Division, and took home a Regional Championship with a win over Sparta.
Anderson said he chose John A. Logan College because, "I chose John A. Logan because I heard it was a good pitching school, and they get picked up by scouts all the time. And they go to Alabama to play, and there will be a whole bunch of scouts there, so i have a pretty good chance of getting picked up to going to a D-1 school or go to the next level."
Hornets coach Chad Malawy talked about Anderson. "He's got probably one of the most live arms we've had come through our program I think. Same as Brogan (Kemp) and Ryan (Brink), I just think the best baseball is ahead of these guys. I should say, same as Brogan, his best baseball on the mound is ahead of him, and hopefully we can get some of that out of him this spring, before they move on to play at the college level."
Malawy went on to say, "He is a gamer. I've watched him throw great game, after great game. Last year I remember giving him a big hug after he came off of the mound against A-J after we beat them in extra innings. He's just a fierce competitor out there, and with his fastball, I think he is going to be able to attack the really good hitters."
Anderson joines Cody Bauza, and fellow pitchers Ryan Brink and Brogan Kemp as Hornets who have signed to play baseball after high school.
Anderson when asked if it was a relief singing early, "Yeah, so I can work on it and get ready to go to John A."
Coach Malawy also talked about the pressure being off of Anderson this season. "The pressure is off him now, he signed with his college, now he can just go out and have fun, and compete his butt off on the mound for the Hornets."
Anderson said of his favorite sports memory was, "watching my cousin, Keeghan Anderson, pitch in the regionals."
While at John A. Logan, Anderson plans on studying Criminal Justice.
John A. Logan plays in the National Junior College Athletic Association.