Co-Lin adding BA’s Tarver, Loyd Star’s Easterling to baseball recruiting class

Published 2:00 pm Saturday, January 29, 2022

Copiah-Lincoln head baseball coach Clay Smith recently picked up a couple of important local recruiting pieces in Brookhaven Academy catcher/infielder Trenton Tarver and Loyd Star pitcher/infielder Riley Easterling.

Tarver hit .391 with 16 runs driven in last season for coach Caleb Upton and Brookhaven Academy. He was Daily Leader All-Area selection and an MAIS District 4-4A selection as a junior.

“We’re excited about Trenton joining our program,” said Smith. “He’s vocal, brings a ton of energy and works hard. We are looking forward to getting him on campus and seeing him develop.”

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A knee injury suffered early in the football season was something Tarver had to battle through last season, but his production went up as baseball season went on. He hit a grand slam in the playoffs against St. Aloysius and finished with three home runs and four doubles on the season.

Easterling was an integral part of a Loyd Star team that reached the MHSAA 2A South State Championship Series last season. He hit for a .307 average and drove in 26 runs for coach Jared Britt.

Smooth with his glove as a shortstop, Easterling hit 14 doubles and one home run while being named to the Daily Leader All-Area team and the all-region team as well. As a pitcher, he struck out 53 in 37 innings and finished with a 3-1 record on the mound.

“Riley is a hardworking, dedicated young man,” said Britt. “He’s always been a guy with great character, and it shows when you are around him for just a couple of minutes. Not only is Co-Lin getting a very good baseball player, but they are getting a guy with great character and a very good student in the classroom. Riley has really worked hard during the summer and offseason to put on muscle and you can tell it in practice. We look forward to seeing him successfully adjust to junior college competition and are exciting about watching him compete at the next level.”

Thus far in recruiting, Smith has added Christian Cameron (NW Rankin), Connor Pittman (Wayne County), Brentley Barry (Simpson Academy), Alford Hill (Bayou Academy), Ryland Hemphill (Florence HS), McKinley Gieger (Oak Grove), Matthew Reed (Madison Central), Sam Thomas (St. Joe-Madison), Braydon Evans (Discovery Christian) and Tyler Wolfe (Covington, La.) for next season.

Smith’s 2022 team begins its season on Feb. 8 with a double header against Dyersburg State in Millington, Tennessee.

The Wolves play their first home game on Feb. 12 at home versus Mineral Area CC.

Wesson product Kenner Bizot was picked by his teammates as one of the captions for Co-Lin this season. Bizot is committed to next play at Mississippi College.

Local products in their freshman season at Co-Lin are Wyatt Hodges (Loyd Star) and Gavin Brogden (Brookhaven Academy). Sophomores who hail from the area include Brady Spring (Brookhaven Academy) and Tanner Watts (Brookhaven Academy).

Spring is a transfer from Jones College and has pledged to next play at Free-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tennessee.