Several former local players in NCAA tourney
By DREW GRANTHUM / Sports writer
When the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship kicks off, the odds off catching a former local standout on the television screen will be high, as no fewer than seven schools in the tournament have at least one player from the Shelby County on their roster.
THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA: The Crimson Tide boasts the most area players in the tournament, as five players on the roster call Shelby County home. They include infielder Mikey White (Spain Park), pitcher/outfielder Cary Baxter (Oak Mountain), pitcher-outfielder Colton Freeman (Spain Park), pitcher Jake Hubbard (Oak Mountain) and pitcher Jon Keller (Thompson).
MISSISSIPPI STATE: The Bulldogs feature pitcher Ben Bracewell (Briarwood) and pitcher Trevor Fitts (Pelham).
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH ALABAMA: The Jaguars have pitcher Hunter Soleymani (Pelham).
TROY– The Trojans have former Pelham Panther Trae Santos listed as a pitcher/infielder.
UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE: Former Spain Park pitcher Chase Traffica serves in the same role for the Ragin’ Cajuns.
OLE MISS: Chris Ellis, also a former Spain Park Jaguar, is a right-handed pitcher for the Rebels.
LIBERTY: The Flames have another Spain Park alumnus, Alex Close, playing at catcher and first base.