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Thu, Jul 31, 2014

MTSU baseball adds two JUCO signees

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MTSU baseball signed a pair of junior college standouts to National Letters of Intent on Thursday. Right handed pitcher Sam Alton and infielder Austin Norrell will don the Blue Raider uniform for the 2015 season.

Alton hails from Sonoma, Calif., where he recently played for the Cañada College Colts. The standout pitcher went 10-1 with a save in 14 appearances. He boasted a remarkable 0.88 ERA and fanned 76 in 102 innings pitched. The earned run average broke 43-year old school record. Alton allowed only nine extra-base hits, including just one home run during his sophomore campaign.

He racked up numerous awards including the Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year and a spot on the Northern California All-State team. At Sonoma Valley High School, Alton was a two-time first team All-District selection and second team All-Empire selection. Alton is believed to be the first California junior college signee for the Blue Raiders.

Norrell joins the Blue Raiders after two strong seasons at Walters State Community College. Norrell was a first team Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) All-Conference selection. The Sugar Valley, Ga., native earned National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) second team All-America honors.

He batted .390 this season while belting 20 doubles and six home runs and adding 53 runs batted in. In 52 games, Norrell compiled a .439 on-base percentage, a .604 slugging percentage for an 1.043 OPS. As a prep standout at Calhoun High School, Norrell earned MaxPreps Freshman All-American accolades in 2009. He was a four-team All-Region selection and named Pitcher of the Year in 2012. He led Calhoun to a state title as a sophomore in 2010.

"We are very fortunate to sign two players of this caliber late in the year," said head coach Jim McGuire. "We expect Austin and Sam to be big contributors for our squad during the 2015 season."

The additions of Alton and Norrell will bring in a total of 10 Blue Raiders for the class of 2014. All of the incoming athletes are expected to arrive on campus in late August.

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