Smith, Qualls sign pacts with Co-Lin

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, June 9, 2004

Pitcher Scotty Smith and centerfielder Xavier Qualls are thelatest Brookhaven products to sign baseball scholarships with theCopiah-Lincoln Community College Wolves. They join BHS catcher AdamOgden who was an early signee with Co-Lin. They were instrumentalin leading Brookhaven to the Class 4A state championship and a 30-8record.

Smith, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound right-hander, compiled a 12-2record this season, including a pair of wins over Pontotoc in theState championship series. He had a 2.45 ERA, accounting for 103strikeouts and 20 bases on balls in 85 innings.

At the plate, Smith batted .397, accounting for 2 home runs and31 RBIs.

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Co-Lin head coach Keith Case said he was happy to have Smithjoining Co-Lin. “Scotty works hard. His tenacity on the mound issecond to none. We are proud to have him with our team.

“As a pitcher, he is a fastball, slowball guy,” Case continued.”He locates real well and works the corners. His breaking ball iseffective and he knows how to get batters out.”

Smith, recognized as Brookhaven’s MVP, is the son of RonnieSmith of Mendenhall and Linda Covington of Brookhaven. He said heis undecided on his course of study at Co-Lin.

“I get to play some more baseball and I’m excited about that,”said Smith.

Ole Brook head coach Randy Spring said he expected Smith to dowell at Co-Lin. “Scotty is strong and he’s dedicated to becoming abetter pitcher on the college level. He works hard. He was our teamleader.”

Qualls (6-1, 190), transferred to BHS from Belleville, Ill., forhis senior campaign. His defensive play in center field was oftenspectacular and he improved steadily as a hitter.

For the season, Qualls batted .414 as leadoff batter. He stole11 bases, hit 14 doubles and 2 homers.

“I’m excited about playing some more baseball after highschool,” said Qualls. He is the son of Vernell and PatriciaQualls.

“Xavier’s best baseball is yet to come,” predicted Spring. “Hewas a switch-hitter with a little bit of power. He was a goodleadoff batter for us and he got better as the season wentalong.”

Smith and Qualls were both selected to play in the MississippiAssociation of Coaches Class 4A-5A All-Star Baseball Game.

“Xavier is a good athlete,” said Coach Case. “He can play any ofthe three outfield positions. He loves baseball. He studies it. I’mglad to have all three guys (Ogden, Smith and Qualls) fromBrookhaven.”

Case’s Wolves finished 32-18 overall and 11-5 in the SouthDivision. They were runners-up in the NJCAA Region 23 Tournamentand third in the MACJC State Tournament.