Lee County High School senior baseball stars Chris Mosley, front row, left, and Andrew Stroud, front row, right, sit at the center of the table Friday and smile for a photo shortly after signing their college scholarships with Middle Georgia College in the Lee County Media Center. Joining the duo for their big day was Mosley’s mother, Shari, front row, far left, and his father, Leslie, back row, left, as well as Stroud’s mother, Penny, front row, far right, and his father, Tony, back row, right. Lee opens the season next month. (email@example.com)
LEESBURG — It was Chris Mosley’s idea first, but it didn’t take Andrew Stroud long to make up his own mind about going to Middle Georgia College, where both Lee County stars will play on the baseball diamond next season.
Mosley, a tough and crafty left-handed pitcher, and Stroud, a strong and savvy hitter who can play first base or the outfield, both signed letters-of-intent with Middle Georgia on Friday amid friends and family at Lee County High School’s Media Center.
“We’re excited to have them both,’’ said Middle Georgia assistant coach Chris Howell, who was on hand for the signing. “They are two great athletes and two great assets to our program.
“Mosley has a live arm and the ability to get the strikeout. He’s going to get stronger and mature. Stroud can play first base or center field. We want him for his bat. He’s got a great bat, and he’s a very good defensive player.’’
Both Mosley and Stroud like the idea of playing at a junior college, where both hope they will perform well and will eventually be drafted by a major league club.
“I talked to Chris about it,’’ Stroud said. “He had decided to go there before I did. It’s a good school and a great program, and a lot of players get drafted. I’ve been thinking about it for ... I don’t know how long. We both hope we can go there for two years and get drafted.’’
Mosley is a take-charge guy on the mound, and he applies the same logic to his life.
“I’m excited,’’ he said. “I’m ready to play college ball — after we get a ring this year at Lee County. (Middle Georgia has) one of the best programs. They go to the World Series a lot. We may be able to get a ring there.’’
Both Lee County kids want to have monster senior seasons and lead the Trojans to their first state title in school history and both are coming off big years at Lee, where Mosley went 7-2 with two complete games and two saves. He had with a 3.84 ERA, and he struck out 62 batters in just 45 2/3 innings with a nasty changeup, a fastball in the mid 80s and a determination that can’t be measured with a radar gun.
“He pitches with a lot of confidence,’’ Lee County coach Rob Williams said. “Chris has ice water in his veins. He doesn’t fear anything.’’
Stroud will be happy to get on the diamond when the season starts in three weeks. He was one of Lee’s top receivers on the football team but was lost for the season with a torn ACL. He is just getting back on his feet and started running again recently.
He’s a tough out and has a career batting average of .318 at Lee County, where the Trojans face the toughest baseball schedule in Southwest Georgia year-in and year-out. Stroud hit .355 as a junior with four homers and 26 RBI. He also had seven doubles, two triples, roamed center field and ran down just about everything.
“I call Andrew ‘Old aches and pains,’ ” said Williams, who was making a reference to Hall of Famer Luke Appling. “You put his name in the lineup, and he goes all out. You put him in the middle of the lineup, and he drives in key runs.
“He controls the outfield. He’s going to be a great player at Middle Georgia.’’
Mosley wants to go into sports medicine and has a 3.2 GPA at Lee County, while Stroud has a 3.4 GPA and plans to major in electrical engineering.
Williams said he expects both to succeed on the diamond and in the classroom at Middle Georgia.
“That’s why we call them student-athletes,’’ said Williams, referring to his players’ high GPAs. “We have sent about eight or nine kids to (Middle Georgia coach) Craig Young over the years, going back to when he was at ABAC, and all of them have gone on to four-year colleges.’’