Brookhaven’s King makes verbal commitment to USM

Published 5:00 am Thursday, July 19, 2007

Brookhaven’s Paxton King plans on wearing a Southern Missuniform for the 2009 baseball season. King, a southpaw pitcher anda rising senior, announced his plans Wednesday to sign with USM’sGolden Eagles on Nov. 10.

“I went down there and talked to the coaches,” said King. “Ifelt like I would fit in. They have a real strong baseballprogram.”

Southern Miss finished 39-23 last season and advanced to theNCAA Oxford Regional. Coach Corky Palmer’s Eagles have been to theNCAA Regionals five straight years.

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“I talked to Coach Palmer and (USM assistant) Coach (Lane)Burroughs,” said King. “My goal has been to be a Division I player.I’m excited about it.”

As a junior, King was chosen The DAILY LEADER’s Most ValuablePlayer and Mr. Baseball on the All-Lincoln County Baseball Team. Heposted a 7-4 record. In 62.2 innings, he struck out 90 batters andwalked 23, compiling a 1.01 ERA.

At the plate, King batted .320, collecting 18 RBIs and 9doubles.

Ole Brook baseball coach Randy Spring was pleased with King’sdecision. “I’m proud of Paxton. He’s the first player from ourprogram to go straight to a Division I school.”

In the recent Parade of Stars baseball competition, held nearAtlanta, Ga., King helped his all-star team to a 9th place finishamong 150 teams. He pitched 6.2 innings in the Junior Olympictryouts, giving up 3 runs and 7 hits. He struck out 7 batters andwalked none, notching 1 victory.

“It was a good experience for me,” said King. “They used woodenbats and it helped me a lot.”

His team earned a bronze medal in the competition.