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Consistent Brewer signs deal with BYU

Devin Brewer was known as Mr. Consistency for the Oak GroveWarriors baseball team during the 2009 campaign. That’s one reasonBrigham Young University signed him to a baseball scholarship.

“Just like any other player, it was my dream to play Division Ibaseball,” said Brewer, during an interview withHattiesburg-American sportswriter Stan Caldwell. “I always thoughtI could do it but I knew it was something I had to worktoward.”

The rock of Oak Grove’s pitching staff compiled a 6-0 record asa senior. He had 79 strikeouts and just 12 walks in 60 innings ashe compiled an impressive 1.54 ERA.

Born in Lincoln County, he is the son of Dewey and Jacki HallBrewer. His grandparents are Jack and Linda Shirley Hall ofTallahassee, Fla., and Mary Nell Britt and the late Nathan Brewerof Brookhaven.

Former Oak Grove coach Kary Bridges said Brewer is anexceptional right-handed pitcher. “He was very consistent as asophomore and a junior but this year he stepped it up and wasdominating. There were three or four games when the other team justdidn’t have a chance against him.”

Over three seasons, Brewer compiled a 16-2 record with thetradition-rich program. He had a 2.10 ERA average with 4 saves, 170strikeouts and 49 walks in 129.2 innings.

Brewer’s father played basketball at Loyd Star where hegraduated in 1981.

Brewer was moderately recruited by other schools but BYU madethe largest sales pitch. He said he liked the campus and themountain scenery during his visit to Provo, Utah. The campus is4,553 feet above sea level and has an enrollment of 29,854.

“Their coaching staff made me feel like I was somebodyimportant,” said Brewer. “It’s a beautiful campus and a beautifulpart of the country.”

Over 1,700 miles from Hattiesburg, BYU will be an adjustment forDevin and his family. “It’s a long way from home but we’re proud ofhim,” said his father, Dewey Brewer. “The academic requirements outthere are outstanding. It’s a great athletic school and a greatacademic school.”

Besides baseball at BYU, Brewer is considering a long snapperposition with the Cougars’ football team. He held that job for 2years with the Class 5A Warriors.

“They (football coaches) are talking to him about walking on astheir long snapper,” said Dewey. “The guy they’ve got will begraduating after this season.”

In baseball, the Cougars are under the direction of formermajor-leaguer Vance Law whose teams have a record of 317-263-2 in10 seasons. BYU was 30-24 this past season, finishing fourth in theMountain West Conference.

Bridges said he believes Brewer will contribute to BYU’s futuresuccess. “He’s the kind of pitcher who will grow on you. He’s not aguy who will light up the radar gun, although he does throwhard.”

Bridges said Brewer had one game this season where his firstpitch was 88 (mph) and his last pitch was 88. That’sconsistent.

“BYU is getting a good pitcher,” said Bridges. “He’ll develop athird pitch when he gets to college. He’ll get better with hischangeup.”

Brewer was named Most Valuable Player for Oak Grove as a seniorand earned the Martin Lowe Pitching Award for the Warriors.

And the thunder rolled. Watching a large, lightning-filledthunderstorm approach from the “safe” confines of MississippiCollege’s Robinson-Hale Stadium press box is a unique experience.For sure, all those lightning strikes would have to hit thestadium’s light poles before hitting something closer to earth.

That was the situation last Thursday night for the 60th AnnualBernard Blackwell High School All-Star Football Classic.Long-awaited rain fell on the parched landscape in Clinton and thesurrounding area but it wasn’t conducive to outside activities,especially a football game.

Executives for the Mississippi Association of Coaches orderedthe field and stadium stands cleared for safety reasons. Ithappened just 15 minutes before the 7 p.m. kickoff as North andSouth players and coaches lined up for the pregame introductions.Nearly 2 hours passed before players set foot on the field. It wasa 9 p.m. kickoff that caused a.m. or morning newspaper sportswriters to pull their hair out.

No way was this game going to be over prior to the 10:30-11 p.m.story deadline. For a change, the p.m. papers had a leg up on thea.m. folks.

Certainly, it was a good, local story as the South whipped theNorth 30-14. Lawrence County tailback Kendrick Hardy was named thegame’s Most Valuable Offensive Player. Offensive guard MonterrioTaylor of Lawrence County was instrumental in helping pave the wayfor an awesome rushing attack. South teammate and fullback JordanHunt of Franklin County looked impressive rushing the football,too.

Write to sports editor Tom Goetz, c/o The DAILY LEADER, P.O. BOX551, Brookhaven, MS 39602 or e-mail sports@dailyleader.com