College-bound baseball players staying close to home
Ryan Bradley knew he wanted to continue his baseball career after high school.
He wasn’t always sure which school he would attend. He just knew he wanted to stay in the South Plains.
“My sister is actually in Jackson, Miss., at Belhaven playing volleyball — that’s 12 hours away. That’s not for me,” Bradley said. “She loves it there, but I wanted to stay close to home. I wanted to be able to see my parents at all the games as much as possible.”
Bradley, a pitcher and third baseman, signed with Wayland Baptist University at a ceremony last week at Frenship High School. He hit .255 with 10 RBI in 73 plate appearances.
He is one of three graduating seniors who are going to the next level.
Kevin Armendarez signed with University of the Southwest in Hobbs, N.M., and Brandon Walker will play at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene.
Armendarez and Walker split time at first base for the Tigers this year, with Armenderez hitting .290 in 31 at bats and Walker notching 10 hits in 64 at bats.
Walker knows the next level will be much tougher, and he said he needs to wait on his pitch in order to be more successful at the plate.
“I need to lay off the high fastball,” said Walker, who struck out 17 times this year.
Both Bradley and Armenderez said they were recruited primarily as pitchers, although both should contribute in the field.
They each throws in the low to mid 80s, they said.
All three said staying close to home was important to them.
“You know, family is something that I really cherish, and they’re the ones that support me the most,” Armenderez said. “I just want to stay close to them.”
The trio said they would begin school in the fall.
Frenship finished 17-16 this season and runners-up in District 3-4A.
Tiger coach Chad Reynolds said all three have a ton of potential to get better, as most baseball players do not hit their stride until later in life.
“Those guys are good players and they’re hard workers and they deserve to go on and play at the next baseball level,” Reynolds said.
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