Kelly will pitch for UK

Published 1:32 pm Thursday, August 12, 2010

Two-year Pearl River Community College pitching standout Sean Kelly is headed to the Southeastern Conference.

 And he’s going to remain a Wildcat.  Kelly, who prepped at Pearl River Central High, has signed on with head coach Gary Henderson’s Kentucky Wildcats after previously courting another offer from the SEC’s Arkansas Razorbacks.

PRCC head coach Jamie McMahon was elated.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“Sean was our go-to closer the past two seasons and he was always ready to go with any situation that presented itself,” McMahon said. “And he was very successful with the role he played for us.

“I expect him to take up where he left off at Kentucky. I’m tickled to death for him.”

Kelly, a submarine, side-arm-type thrower, boasted a 5-2 career win-loss record at The River, including a 2-0 mark in 2009 as a freshman and 3-2 this past season. In 2009, he sported a 3.60 earned-run average in his 13 innings on the mound, striking out 13 and walking three; while as a sophomore, Kelly lowered his ERA to 3.32 over a 31.2-inning stretch. He struck out 30 and walked 11 in 2010.

Late in his junior season at Pearl River Central, Kelly, who, at the time, had a conventional pitching motion, developed pain in his throwing arm. That prompted then-Blue Devil head coach Greg Lewis and pitching coach Ryan Davis, a former submarine pitcher at Southern Miss, to switch Kelly to the submarine mode.

It worked…no pain.

Kelly had high hopes heading into his senior year at PRC, even though Lewis handed the head coaching reins over to Neal Walther. But his positive aspirations were dramatically cut short on Sept. 11, 2007, when he was involved in an auto accident that resulted in facial and shoulder injuries. Kelly did, however, recover to the point that he managed to pitch in two games for the Blue Devils the following spring.

“We gave him a shot anyway,” McMahon said. “His arm steadily improved through hard work and rehab and he wound up being one of the most dependable guys I’ve had here.”

Kentucky’s 2010 squad finished 31-25 overall, marking a sixth-straight winning season for only the second time in Wildcat history. Henderson’s 13-15 East Division record saw a fourth-place finish and not was good enough for an SEC Tournament berth.