Hickman chooses East Mississippi Community College

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Pearl River Central High senior Anthony Hickman verbally committed to East Mississippi Community College to play baseball.

Hickman, who plays shortstop, garnered interest from near every junior college in Mississippi, Head Coach Neil Walther said.

Hickman made the State Games of Mississippi in Meridian and had such a great showing that Southeast Louisiana, Samford and Northwest Louisiana all showed interest, Walther said.

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The talented senior played a solid third base committing just five errors in 56 chances and finishing with a .911 fielding percentage. Offensively, Hickman hit .379 with 13 RBI and 20 runs. His speed was a factor on the basepaths as he stole 11 bases on 13 attempts.

“I would anticipate him hitting three-hole this year and he runs well with a  6.8-60 time. Defensively is where he shows the most promise, has a tremendous arm. He played third last year. He took away the bunt really well.” Walther said. “He throws 87 off the mound and he will primarily work in relief. He’s a fast runner, at times a very good base runner, but he’s getting better just playing. He’s got gap to gap power.”

Hickman works hard in the weight room and has transformed himself physically in his high school career.

“He’s a hard worker. He’s already signed and had all this interest from all these school but he’s one of the hardest workers in the weight room, he’s a strong kid and significantly increases his max in the weight room,” Walther said. “He definitely has the tools to play D-1. He’s gonna get faster he’s gonna get stronger and his skills are going to develop even more in junior college and if he keeps on that track there’s no doubt he will play D-1.”

Walther expects another successful year in Carriere behind the leadership of Hickman. He said the Blue Devils are already well on their way to putting together a strong campaign.

The team has been working out in the weight room Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and on Tuesdays and Thursdays pitchers get their work in and hitters get live swings, Walther said.

They can officially start practice after school the beginning of February and the season starts the last weekend in February. Every year in the Classic Tournament to kickoff the season, they play Poplarville and Hancock the weekend of Feb. 26.

“If we continue to practice like we have been, I think we will have a pretty successful season. The district we’re in is wide open, but competitive. We have an awful lot of seniors. They’ve been successful so far and been a part of three district titles and a lot of those kids are gonna play well in pressure situations,” Walther said.