The Ole Miss baseball squad picked up yet another verbal commitment for its 2013 signing class on Monday.
After drawing interest from several other elite programs, 6-foot-1, 170-pound right-handed pitcher Ryan Leone (Calvary Baptist Academy; Shreveport, La.) called Rebel recruiting coordinator Carl Lafferty on Monday and verbally committed.
“I wanted to play in the SEC somewhere where my family could come and watch me and Ole Miss’ coaches, Coach Lafferty and Coach Bianco, were great,” Leone said Wednesday. “The facilities and campus, I just loved everything about it.”
Leone said he selected the Rebels over finalist Alabama, while Oregon, LSU, Texas A&M and Southern Miss all showed interest.
Arkansas also showed interest, but Leone said the feelings were not mutual.
Leone was 4-2 as a sophomore in 2011 with 44 strikeouts in 38.2 innings.
On the mound, Leone utilizes a two-seam fastball, changeup and curveball, with his fastball topping out at 92 miles-per-hour last season.
“My fastball has always been my best pitch, my fastball and changeup,” Leone said. “I work off of those two.”
As with all prep pitchers, Leone has work to do before he’s ready to pitch in college.
“I need to work on my command this year a little bit to get ready for college because high school hitters aren’t anything compared to hitters once you get to college,” he said.
According to Leone’s school website, he has been invited to the USA Baseball 18-and-Under national team tryouts in Cary, N.C., this summer.
Leone is Ole Miss’ sixth verbal commitment for its 2013 signing class, joining LHP Evan Anderson (Dale, Okla.), INF Dalton Dulin (Memphis), RHP Cheyne Bickel (North Palm Beach, Fla.), OF Carlos Williams (Covington, Tenn.) and 3B Colby Bortles (Oviedo, Fla.). (February 9, 2012, Page 8)