Following His Dream

Chase Reeves

When Ole Miss invited Chase Reeves to be a part of its baseball program last fall, it didn't take the high school junior long to accept. All he needed to hear was that he was wanted by the Rebels.

"It's always been a dream of mine to play at Ole Miss," said the senior outfielder at Hamilton High School. "I knew if I ever got the chance, it's where I wanted to be."

Come November, he will sign on the dotted line, and that dream will continue to become a reality.

"I'd love to be there right now," said Reeves, a left-handed hitter who also is a left-handed pitcher. But the 6-foot, 195-pounder has another year of high school before he actually dons the red and blue of Ole Miss.

He's spent his summer playing for the Mississippi Bandits, a team from the Jackson area. Fellow Rebel, incoming freshman Austin Hartzog, was also on the team.

A Hamilton High star player since 7th grade

Reeves had a solid summer with the Bandits. In a tournament at East Cobb (Ga.) during the July 4th week, Reeves had seven hits and a home run. In one game at East Cobb, Reeves faced a left-hander who is a Vanderbilt signee and went 2-for-4 with a triple and a single.

Last spring as a junior for the Lions of HHS, the 18-year-old batted .410 and hit four home runs, three triples and five doubles, along with 27 RBI and 29 runs scored. The ballclub made it to the finals of Mississippi Class 2A before losing in the championship series to Richton.

"We were close to winning it all," said Reeves, who a year earlier as a sophomore had been named a Louisville Slugger All-American as a pitcher after he was 8-1 with a 0.11 ERA at Hamilton High with 99 strikeouts and just 25 walks in 61.67 innings pitched. "We just didn't get it done against Richton."

For his high school career so far, Reeves has batted .418 with 24 home runs, 21 triples, and 27 doubles, as well as 158 RBI and 169 runs scored.

He was rated the No. 4 player in Mississippi and the 200th overall nationally by Perfect games for the 2011 class. He was named top overall hitter and a top 10 underclassman in the state by Mississippi Hardball.

Reeves, a two-time MVP for his high school baseball team as well as a two-time all-state selection, chose beginning last year to focus on baseball only. He had been the quarterback of the Hamilton football team.

A lifelong Ole Miss fan

"I just felt like I needed to put all my effort into baseball," he said. "It was rough and I missed playing football. But I needed to do it to focus on baseball."

Reeves said he knows the areas he needs to improve the most.

"I need to get faster," he said, mentioning he ran a 6.9 60. "I want to get quicker, faster, stronger. I mainly have to work on my speed, especially competing with the other (Ole Miss) guys for an outfield spot."

Reeves, who was contacted by UCLA and LSU, among others, said his decision basically came down to the instate schools – Ole Miss, Southern Miss and Mississippi State. But it really came down to just one.

"My Dad and Mom and family have been taking me to baseball and football games at Ole Miss all my life," he said. "Like I said, it's a dream come true for me to be able to go there. There's no place I'd rather be."

Reeves is joined in the 2011 signing class currently by commitments infielder Austin Bousfield of Orlando (West Orange), Fla., RHP Hawtin Buchanan of Biloxi, RHP Chris Ellis of Hoover (Spain Park), Ala., outfielder Will Jamison of Memphis (Evangelical Christian School), Tenn., 1B/3B Sikes Orvis of Orlando (Freedom), Fla., and shortstop Jake Overbey of Jackson (University School of Jackson), Tenn., and RHP Josh Laxer of Madison Central High.

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