Thursday, May 14, 2009
Gardner going to Northwest
By BARRY BURLESON
Chris Gardner, a senior at Marshall Academy, will continue his mound work at Northwest Mississippi Community College.
He signed with the Rangers Thursday in front of family members, teammates and fellow members of the Class of 2009.
“We’re looking for guys who love to compete, and we feel like Chris is a competitor,” coach Mark Carson said. “He has a good arm. His physical make-up is good, but so is his mental make-up.
“He obviously loves to play the game. We’re excited about what he can do for us.”
Gardner, who will play in the Mississippi Private School Association All-Star Game, posted a 6-3 record and a 2.90 earned run average. He appeared in 13 games, starting 10. He struck out 69 batters in 62 and two-thirds innings pitched and allowed only 46 hits. Gardner walked only 16 batters all season. He also notched one save. It was his second season as an all-conference pick after an 11-2 record as a junior. He batted .288 with 10 doubles, two home runs and 20 RBI.
“Northwest is getting a pitcher with a tremendous amount of ability,” said Johnny Ray, head coach at Marshall Academy. “I feel, after coaching at that level for seven years, that Chris will have an opportunity to do well. We are going to have a tough time replacing his competitive nature on the mound.”
The Northwest Rangers went 27-22 this season, finishing third in the North and just missing a trip to the state tournament.
“I would grade the year a success,” Carson said. “We made the playoffs and finished strong in the conference, but we were disappointed because we didn’t go farther.”
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