Jamestown’s Kyle Majette and Matt Smith were a big reason the Eagles’ baseball team returned to the AA state tournament for the first time in nearly a decade this past spring.
Both made enough noise on the mound this season to warrant interest from college coaches, and earlier this week, each made verbal commitments to play baseball for Division I programs.
Majette, who has several D-I offers on the table from schools such as William and Mary, Old Dominion and George Mason University, committed to play for East Carolina University in the spring of 2013. Jamestown assistant coach Pete Larson said he should officially sign with the school in October.
Smith, a rising junior who prior to last season was essentially an unknown, gave word earlier this week that he’ll play for the William and Mary Tribe in 2014.
The Jamestown products join a long list of pitchers from the Bay Rivers who will move on to pitch at the Division I level.
York senior Tim Kelly has one more year of high school ball left before he moves on to pitch for Virginia Tech.
Jamestown’s J.T. Castner, who played with Majette and Smith this past season and graduated in June, will play for The College of William and Mary next spring.
Tabb’s Patrick Corbett (Coastal Carolina) and Jared Lyons (Liberty), and Smithfield’s Kevin Griffey (Old Dominion University) are among other 2010 graduates who received D-I pitching scholarships.
Majette led the Eagles with an 8-2 record this past spring. Strapped with an overpowering fastball that consistently tops 90 mph on the radar gun, he tallied 68 strikeouts over 52.1 innings last season while posting an earned run average of 2.41.
Majette’s presence on the mound has also been spotted by professional scouts.
The rising senior will throw at next week’s East Coast Showcase in Florida, one of the most notable showcases in the country that only features players invited by professional scouts.
As a sophomore, Smith emerged as one of the Bay Rivers’ top young pitchers providing a key arm behind aces J.T. Castner and Majette. He was especially brilliant during the Eagles spirited late-season run that landed them second place in the Bay Rivers District standings.
In two games against Smithfield and Grafton during the final stretch of the regular season, Smith tossed 13.2 consecutive scoreless innings while piling 20 strikeouts and just three walks.
He finished the 2010 campaign 2-3 with a 1.43 ERA and 46 strikeouts over 41.2 innings. He also led the Eagles with three saves.
After just one year of varsity experience where he was third on the staff in innings-pitched, we still have yet to see how good Smith can be.
The potential is evident, but as his role on the team and workload increases, he’ll have ample time to further develop over the next two season before joining Castner, as well as ’09 Jamestown grad Jackson Shaver, as a member of the Tribe in 2013.