Tiger hurler Yelverton to sign with Spring Hill

20150418 DHS vs Alabama Christian-2140With nearly a month before the first pitch of the 2016 season is thrown, Demopolis High senior Luke Yelverton has his post-graduation plans in place. The Tiger hurler verbally committed to Spring Hill College in Mobile where he will look to be an impact arm for the Badgers.

“First, they said that they’re looking for a pitching staff. They’ve got a few new guys on board. They’re No. 1 is a righty from just out of high school last year from Cottage Hill. He said as a freshman that I would fit in the pitching rotation and they thought I was a good fit for Spring Hill,” Yelverton said of how he expect to slot into Spring Hill’s plans.

“They’re getting a worker. They’re getting somebody that doesn’t mind working, somebody that comes from a good background and a good family. That’s over half the battle now is getting kids that want to work and are looking to get better every year. I think Luke is that way,” Demopolis coach James Moody said. “He’s like a sponge. He is still sucking things up. He has never bee none of these guys that has it figured out. That and he is a good student too.”

For Yelverton, the move to Mobile was a natural one as he looked to find a landing spot close to home.

“I love it. That’s really one of the main things I was looking at was something that is not too far from home because I am a homey person. I like for my parents to be able to come support me. That was one of the top things I really looked at was how close they were,” Yelverton said. “They’re a small school and, really in the long run, academics comes first because baseball is temporary. They’ve got a small school and the professors work with you individually and make sure that you’re taken care of.”

Yelverton worked his way to a 5-4 record with a 1.88 ERA over 48 and a third innings of work in 10 games for the Tigers last season. He also struck out 49 batters while helping lead Demopolis to the second round of the Class 5A state playoffs.

As he readies for the start of his final prep season, Yelverton knows there is a checklist of areas upon which he will seek to improve in the coming months.

“Really just become a better team player and help others around me. For myself, work on the small things and try not to change too much,” Yelverton said.

“I think stamina,” Moody said, pointing to a key area of focus for Yelverton as he transitions to the college game. “I don’t know what role they’ll use him there, but I think he has got to work his way up to be a six or seven-inning guy. At that level, what will help him accomplish that more than anything this year is being able to throw his secondary pitches for strikes when he is behind in the count and get those hitters off fastballs. He improved on that some last year. He developed a cut fastball late in the year and he got some big outs with that pitch. I think that’s the biggest thing though; secondary pitches for strikes when he’s behind in the count.”