USM staff shares baseball knowledge at Vidalia camp

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 14, 2001

VIDALIA, La. – Normally to get instruction from a Division I coaching staff you would have to travel to a major university.

That was not the case on Tuesday and Wednesday in Vidalia as Corky Palmer and the rest of the Southern Miss baseball staff were in town holding a two-day camp with Vidalia High School.

&uot;We had 75-80 players during the two sessions each day,&uot; Vidalia head coach Johnny Lee Hoffpauir said. &uot;This was a great opportunity, and I’m really proud of the older kids who showed up. I think a couple of them caught the eye of the coaches.&uot;

Palmer also seemed to be pleased with the turnout at the camp.

&uot;We really appreciate Coach Hoffpauir inviting us to come,&uot; Palmer said. &uot;We had a break, and it was good to be able to come (to Vidalia).&uot;

Injuries hurt USM in 2001, but Palmer expects improvement next season following what many considered a disappointing year for the Golden Eagles.

&uot;We will be a young team with old pitching next year,&uot; he said. &uot;We have eight of top 10 pitchers returning, and we have our top hitter back in Jack Cook.&uot;

The Golden Eagles will also have a solid recruiting class to add to the mix, one that includes Vidalia’s Jarrett Hoffpauir.

&uot;I’m excited about our recruiting class – it is one of our best,&uot; Palmer said. &uot;Jarrett is certainly one of the top players in this class, and we feel fortunate to get him.&uot;

While Palmer makes no promises regarding the younger Hoffpauir’s playing time as a freshman with the Golden Eagles, he said the former Vidalia Viking has the ability to work his way into the lineup.

&uot;We will look at him at short and maybe some second base,&uot; Palmer said. &uot;He has a chance to play quickly because he combines natural ability with a knowledge of the game. That knowledge probably has something to do with being the son of a coach.&uot;