Townsend signs with Pittsburgh

Photo by Daniel Kay

Photo by Daniel Kay

ALBANY -- Former Sherwood Christian star pitcher Jason Townsend made a major-league decision Wednesday, coming to an agreement with the Pittsburgh Pirates after a weeklong debate.

Townsend, who will forgo his senior season at Alabama, said he consulted his father to make sure it was the right thing to do.

"I think the time is right," Townsend said. "It's just a chance to do something I always wanted to do. Now that I actually have a chance to go play professional baseball, that's (what I'm going to do)."

Townsend will fly out to Pittsburgh Sunday. The team will give him a physical Monday and he'll fill out the necessary paperwork, then it's off to Jameston, N.Y., where he will meet up with the single-A team he'll be playing for next season.

Townsend, who received a $25,000 signing bonus, said he's looking forward to the next step.

"I'm looking forward to pitching against some good talent and wood bats," Townsend said. "It will be real fun and a taste of what Major League Baseball will be like."