Co-Lin’s Atkins signs baseball pact with MSU

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, November 27, 2001

STARKVILLE – Mississippi State University has signedright-handed pitcher Derek Atkins of Thibodeaux, La., to a nationalletter of intent in baseball, MSU head baseball coach Ron Polkannounced. Atkins, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound pitcher at Copiah-LincolnCommunity College, posted an 8-3 record with a 3.92 earned runaverage as a freshman, helping lead the Wolves to the Region 23Tournament championship.

Coached by Keith Case and former MSU pitching standout PeteYoung at Co-Lin, Atkins earned MACJC All-State honors as a freshmanlast spring. He drew 15 starts and registered 73 strikeouts in75-2/3 innings.

“Experienced pitchers are vital to the success of collegebaseball programs and after another season on the mound atCopiah-Lincoln Community College, Derek will be ready to compete inthe Southeastern Conference,” said Coach Polk. “We welcome Derekand his family into our university and baseball program.”

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Derek is the son of Steve and Donna Barras of Thibodaux, La.,and Dave Atkins of Thibodaux.

Atkins was 3-year starter in baseball at Ed White High School inThibodaux where he was coached by Boyd Hebert. He was 3-timeall-district, all-region and all-parrish. He earned first-timeall-state laurels as a senior, capping his prep career with a 10-1record and a 1.40 ERA, plus 101 strikeouts in 78 innings. He alsobatted .395 with 49 RBI and 8 home runs.

“I’m very excited about having the opportunity to play for oneof the top teams in the Southeastern Conference,” said Atkins.

In high school, Atkins compiled a 21-5 career pitching mark with221 strikeouts. He also was a 3-year letter winner and all-districtin basketball land track at WHS, earning all-state honors in trackhis senior season.

“I’m very excited for Derek and his family,” said Coach Young.”He’s happy to go ahead and commit early. Hopefully he will be avery good impact for us this spring.

“He’s a bulldog on the mound,” Young continued. “He won’t backdown from batters. He will throw a lot of strikes and be around thezone on all of his pitches. He has real good control of hisbreaking ball. His changeup keeps getting better and better.”