Pritchard signs with Milligan
LEDGER – Mitchell High School senior Caleb Pritchard has officially signed to play college baseball at Milligan College in Elizabethton, Tennessee.
Pritchard finalized his decision with a ceremonial signing in front of Mitchell High Scholl head baseball coach Trent Keller, his teammates and family. Pritchard graduates from Mitchell next month and will begin his college career in the fall.
Pritchard will join a Milligan team that went 20-26 overall this past season. The Buffaloes are led by first-year head coach Skyler Barnett, who joined the program earlier this month.
Pritchard played two years of varsity baseball at Avery County High before transferring to Mitchell for his junior and senior seasons. He appeared in 19 games for the Vikings as a freshman and hit .321 with eight RBIs. He followed with a sophomore campaign that saw him hit .271 with a team-high 16 RBIs and three home runs in 17 games.
As a sophomore at Avery, Pritchard made eight appearances as a pitcher and compiled a team-low 1.24 ERA. Pritchard went 3-3 with a 3.64 ERA on the mound as a junior at Mitchell and finished 3-2 with a 2.54 ERA while pitching two complete games and earning one save as a senior.
In 37 career games as a Mountaineer, he hit .348 and smacked six home runs while driving in 38.
Pritchard said the coaches at Milligan view him as a pitching prospect. He added he has been told to expect some starts on the mound as a freshman.
The immediate playing time coupled with the fact Milligan offers Pritchard’s major, mechanical engineering, made his college decision an easy one.
Pritchard said he focused on improving his pitching velocity during his college career.
“I’ve worked really hard over the years,” Pritchard said. “I’ve especially tried to get my velocity up because that’s a big part of things in college baseball.”
Keller said he has noticed a definite increase in Pritchard’s velocity and added his solid hitting makes him an exciting prospect.
“He’s handy with a bat but he works really hard with pitching,” Keller said. “His velocity has come up quite a bit and that’s a direct result from him putting in the work.”
Keller said Milligan will allow Pritchard to face quality college opponents and he expects the college to be a good overall fit for him.
“He was always a strong player,” Keller said. “A lot of our wins were the direct result of his pitching. He’s helped tremendously for us and Milligan will give him a chance to get better at the college level where he’ll see some really good players and it’s really good for him.”