Photo: Gadsden City High seniors Austin Brewer and J.J. Gray signed baseball scholarships with Southern Union Community College on Nov. 22. Pictured, sitting, from left: Austin’s dad Heath, Austin’s sister Grace, Austin’s mom Geri, Austin, J.J., J.J.’s dad Jason, J.J.’s mom Janice, J.J.’s brother Chase. Standing from left: GCHS assistant baseball coach Ricky Ray Clayton, GCHS head baseball coach Blake Bone. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
A pair of Gadsden City High seniors are headed to Wadley this fall.
Austin Brewer and J.J. Gray signed baseball scholarships with Southern Union Community
College on Nov. 22 at the GCHS library.
“I’d like to thank everyone in my family, my friends my teachers and my coaches who helped me get to this point,” said Brewer.
“I just want to thank all my coaches and my teammates and my family,” said Gray. “They all worked with me when no one else would.”
This past spring, the Titans qualify for the state playoff for the first time in 11 years.
“Every coach loves to see his players make it to the next level,” said second-year GCHS head baseball coach Blake Bone. “I’m very proud of Austin and J.J., and I hope they know what they mean to our program. They’ve got a year to go but they’ll truly be missed. These two guys are the epitome of hard work. They’re at the field all time, in the [batting] cage or throwing [the ball] and getting the extra work in. That’s what it takes to be successful, not only in sports but for anything you want to accomplish in life. I think both guys will fit in great [at Southern Union].”
In 29 games this past season at catcher, Brewer batted .321 with 26 hits, eight doubles and 17 RBI.
“Austin’s a heck of a catcher who swings the bat really well,” said Bone. “He’s got a really good skill set that will serve him well at the college level. He really loves the game and plays it the right way.”
As a pitcher, Gray missed his junior season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
“J.J. is a grinder who had a really good sophomore season before he got hurt,” said Bone. “He’s full-throttle now, and hopefully he’ll have a bust-out year for us. We’re looking forward to it because we haven’t really seen him pitch.”
The 2019 Southern Union baseball team went 20-30 overall and 13-19 in Alabama Community College Conference action.