North's Root signs with James Madison

November 16, 2011|By TIM KOELBLE |
  • J.T. Root
J.T. Root

North Hagerstown’s J.T. Root has a senior season of baseball to play, worry-free of what his next step will be upon graduation.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound right-hander signed a national letter of intent Saturday to play baseball at James Madison University, a member of the Colonial Athletic Association.

Root was one of four signees by JMU head coach Spanky McFarland in the early signing period. The Dukes also inked pitcher Trey Jones of James Bennett in Salisbury, Md., pitcher Michael Church of Lake Braddock in Burke, Va., and catcher-infielder Bobby San Martin of Centreville in Fairfax, Va.

“It’s really exciting,” said Root, who caught the attention of the JMU coaching staff at a tournament in Bridgewater, Va., during the summer.

He made a visit to the campus, located in Harrisonburg, Va., in August.

“We were at a cookout and met the players,” said Root. “It’s a beautiful campus. (This spring) I can take a lot off my mind and just go out and pitch and have fun my senior year.”

Root finished his junior season with a 4-2 record and 3.99 earned run average and had 47 strikeouts in 45 2/3 innings. He also pitched last summer for the Mid-Atlantic Red Sox.

“(JMU pitching coach Ted White) said he will be up here during the spring to work on certain things,” said Root. “They said I’ll pitch as a freshman.”

“All four players will make contributions for us,” McFarland said on the JMU website, “We have kids with upside, good character.”

In a video announcement McFarland said: “The thing that makes J.T. exciting is he has a power slider and power breaking ball with late break. He’ll be able to help us as a freshman as a situational pitcher.”

Root will be the second member of his family to compete in the CAA. His older sister, Kristine, played softball at Hofstra University and graduated two years ago.

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