Binford commits to Virginia

July 11, 2010|By TIM KOELBLE

With his senior year still in front of him, Hagerstown resident Christian Binford has set the course for his baseball future after he graduates from Mercersburg Academy.

The 6-foot-7, 225-pound right-hander has made a verbal commitment to the University of Virginia that will become official when he inks scholarship papers during the November signing period.

"I've always wanted to play college baseball and I think the Atlantic Coast Conference has the best baseball," Binford said from Marietta, Ga., where he is playing in the Perfect Game Tournament. "Signing now will make it easier my senior year. I can work hard in class."

Binford's commitment is the latest step in a comeback from a completely torn ulnar collateral ligament that required Tommy John surgery in June 2009. The procedure was performed by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala.


"(Dr. Andrews) gave me step-by-step instructions for rehab over three months," said Binford. "I'm not 100 percent yet. In some cases, it takes almost two years to fully recover."

But the University of Virginia saw something in Binford's future during an earlier tournament trip to Charlottesville, Va., and showed interest.

"They liked what they saw and said if they hadn't known I had the surgery you couldn't tell it," Binford said.

Binford made his return to the mound late in the high school season with a 15-pitch limit and finished with a four-inning stint in a win over Malvern Prep in the Pennsylvania Independent State Tournament on May 28, throwing in excess of 85 mph.

"Christian loves to compete and has five different pitches he can throw for strikes," said Mercersburg Academy pitching coach Matt Mauriello. "I'm glad he's back for another season and he'll do well in a Division I program."

· Clear Spring's Joel Rowe, one of the mainstays on the Blazers team that made a run to the Maryland Class 1A state championship game, will continue his baseball career at Miami Dade College in Florida.

The first baseman will play for Danny Price, who coached at Florida International when Clear Spring coach Mark Shives played there.

"(Joel) has a chance to develop there and take the next step," said Shives, who now has six players from Clear Spring's 2010 team heading to college.

Brandon Glazer (College of Charleston), Brad Jordan (Alderson-Broaddus), Brad Banzhoff (Davis & Elkins) and Corey Morgan and Brian Lesher (Hagerstown Community College) all have committed to play at the college level.

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