High School baseball players have success in college with hitting

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, April 21, 2020

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NATCHEZ — Two former Miss-Lou high school baseball players received awards at the collegiate level for their hitting performances in both the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

Andrew Beesley, a graduate of Cathedral High School, was named to both the D1Baseball.com Top 100 Hitters list and top 25 seniors baseball players by Baseball America.

Jatavis Melton, a graduate of Natchez High School, finished in the top 5 out of all community college baseball players in home runs for the 2020 season as recognized by the National Junior College Athletic Association.

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Beesley played for the University of Louisiana Monroe Warhawks while Melton played for the Mississippi Delta Community College Trojans.

D1Baseball.com ranked the top hitters in collegiate baseball based on the 2019 statistics and the four weeks of the 2020 season.

“That was a great honor, and it was pretty cool to see my name being put out there and seeing all of the hard work pay off,” Beesley said.

Beesley was an All-Sun Belt Second Team Utility Player in 2019. A utility player is someone who can play a variety of positions.

Beesley played a variety of positions for the Warhawks, including designated hitter, first baseman and left fielder.

“I knew going to University of Louisiana Monroe that I was going to have to do that just to find a spot on the field,” Beesley said. “I was willing to play anywhere on the field and that’s what it took.”

Meanwhile, Melton led the Mississippi Delta Community College Trojans with five home runs, 10 RBIs and five stolen bases.

“It feels good because I work hard and put in a lot of work. I was shocked to be honest,” Melton said. “My teammate texted me and told me whatever I’m doing, just keep doing.”

For collegiate student-athletes, spring seasons were cut short due to the novel coronavirus.

Beesley said he has not made up his mind what he wants to do for the future.

Even though Melton’s college-playing career is over, Melton said he has high hopes for baseball in the future.

“My plan is to get drafted to play in the major leagues,” Melton said. “I don’t know when, but I’m going to get drafted. My mom, Candice Dobbins, told me when I was young I used to look up to MLB players and watch baseball. Playing in the major leagues has been my dream ever since I was 3-years-old.”