Three Ripley baseball standouts inked their National Letters of Intent at a ceremony on Thursday, continuing a tradition of the Tigers sending players to the next level. The Tigers and head coach Joel Gafford have sent 11 players on to play collegiate baseball over the last 5 seasons.
Micah Johnston and Hayden Fortune both signed with East Mississippi while Drew Coombs is heading to Itawamba CC. All three made the roster for the State Game of Mississippi over the summer and Coach Gafford expects a big season from them this spring.
“They worked even through the season being shut down and through the summer, working out and playing Legion to be able to earn the opportunity to continue their careers,” Coach Gafford said of the trio.
“They’ve grown as baseball players and as young men during their careers, which is what I’m most proud of. We will lean on the 3 of them heavily this spring.”
Johnston, a pitching prospect, pitched 21 innings in a shortened 2020 season, going 3-0 and striking out 26 along the way.
Coombs had a terrific start to the season at the plate last year, as he was hitting .423, slugging .500 with 5 RBI’s and a pair of doubles amongs his 11 hits.
Fortune has been a stellar bat for the Tigers throughout his career and was off to another solid pace last season, racking up 11 hits, a pair of doubles and 4 RBI’s before it was called.