HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss baseball team announced the addition of two local Oak Grove High School standouts, right-handed pitcher/infielder Taylor Braley and left-handed pitcher/outfielder Kirk McCarty for the 2015 season.
The duo each played on the Warriors' state championship team in 2012, while also capturing the district championship in both 2011 and 2013 for coach Chris McCardle. The two are the reigning Hattiesburg American All-Area Co-Players of the Year.
Braley, at 6-foot, 245 lbs., finished second for the Warriors with a .384 batting average to go along with 15 doubles, four home runs and 41 RBI, tops on the Oak Grove High squad, as well as posting a 9-0 record on the mound with a 1.56 earned run average, finishing second on the team in that category, with 83 strikeouts in 62 2/3 innings.
Taylor is the son of Lehman Braley, who lettered for the Golden Eagle football team from 1988-1991. He was a second-team All-State selection by the Clarion-Ledger.
"Taylor has plus power with his bat and has a true closer's mentality on the mound," said Southern Miss recruiting coordinator/assistant coach Chad Caillet. "Along with being a very talented player, Taylor will bring a level of toughness and attitude to our 2015 team."
McCarty, at 5-foot-11, 175 lbs., led the Warriors win batting average last season with a .417 batting average with eight doubles, three triples, a home runs and 20 RBI to go along with 34 runs scored. On the mound, he went 9-1 with 118 strikeouts in 68 1/3 innings.
He was named first-team All-State by the Clarion-Ledger.
"Kirk is a three-pitch guy with great command," said Caillet. "He projects as a No. 2-hole type hitter with great bat control with gap power. Kirk is a tremendous competitor with leadership skills that are hard to find."
Southern Miss finished the fall signing period with 10 players including catcher Blake Anderson (Meridian, Miss./West Lauderdale High School), shortstop Daniel Keating (Gulfport, Miss./Gulfport HS), infielder/pitcher Austin Millet (Prairieville, La./East Ascension HS), outfielder Byron Murray (Wellington, Fla./Trinity Christian High School), left-handed pitcher Mark Reyes (Hot Springs Village, Ark./Crowder College), third baseman Hunter Slater (Mobile, Ala.), pitcher/outfielder Justin Steele (Lucedale, Miss./George County HS) and first baseman Taylor Walker (Murfreesboro, Tenn./Jackson State Community College).
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