PRCC baseball adds ‘perfect fit’ to staff

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, August 7, 2018

By Patrick Ochs 

POPLARVILLE – Pearl River Community College head baseball coach Michael Avalon recently announced the addition of Drew LaBounty to his staff.
LaBounty just wrapped up a standout collegiate career at nearby South Alabama, where he was a three-time All-Sun Belt Conference shortstop before being drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays.
“When we were looking to add a coach to our staff I received several calls on him from people in the baseball coaching circle,” Avalon said. “He could not have been more highly recommended by people I trust.”
Beyond just LaBounty’s on-field success, baseball – and specifically coaching – are in his blood.
LaBounty is the son of legendary high school coach Richard LaBounty, who recently retired from Pensacola Catholic High School in Pensacola, Florida, after leading the team to three state titles and a perfect season in 2013, which was Drew’s senior year.
“When we interviewed Drew, I came away very excited and impressed. His knowledge of the game of baseball is extremely high,” Avalon said. “With his dad being a legendary coach at Catholic High School in Pensacola (Florida), he was around the game of baseball his whole life and always knew he wanted to be a coach at some point.
“Baseball is what he has always known and we’re excited to see him follow in his father’s footsteps while helping our program.”
LaBounty lettered four years in baseball and two years in basketball at Pensacola Catholic, where he hit .511 with nine doubles, one home run, 27 RBIs, 22 stolen bases and 41 runs scored as a senior. He was named Class 4A first team all-state by the Florida Athletic Coaches Association as a senior. In addition to earning a state title in ’13, he also helped PCHS win the title in 2012 and place second the year before.
LaBounty finished his collegiate career at USA with a .283 batting average, six home runs, 110 RBIs, 35 doubles and 22 stolen bases. He was a First Team All-Sun Belt Conference selection following the 2016 and 2017 seasons, and was also a preseason pick heading into the 2018 season. He also spent the summer of 2017 as a shortstop for the Bourne Braves in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League.
Although PRCC will be LaBounty’s first full-time coaching gig since graduating from USA, it won’t be his first experience coaching. In addition to being the son of a coach, LaBounty was an assistant at PCHS during the summers; coordinated practice plans for the varsity squad; and organized summer camps for children 5-14 years old.
Avalon will entrust LaBounty to handle the infielders, work with the offense and assist in recruiting.
“He’s the perfect fit for what we’re looking for,” he said.
LaBounty graduated from USA in December with a degree in leisure studies concentrated in sports management. LaBounty is currently working toward earning his Masters degree in Sports Management from USA.

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