Evans Knights standout catcher Mike Armstrong signed a letter of intent Friday to play for Mercer University.
Evans HIgh School catcher Mike Armstrong signed a
letter of intent to play baseball for Mercer University.
Photo by Donnie Fetter
Armstrong chose Mercer because he wants to play baseball, but he wants to learn even more.
"One of the first things the coaches told me was that academics comes first, and that's important to me," Armstrong said.
Sporting a 3.9 GPA, Armstrong plans to major in biomechanical engineering. If his grades remain strong, he eventually wants to attend medical school.
In fact, his brain power impressed Mercer officials as much as his athletic prowess.
"I wanted to go into engineering because I have good math skills, and I got a scholarship for that as well," he said.
Evans head baseball coach Ricky Beale appreciates Armstrong's intellect as well.
"He's been a great leader for us, because he has the ability to anticipate the other teams next move and direct the infield accordingly," Beale said. "With those skills behind the plate and his hitting ability, there's a lot of colleges he could have gone to, but I think Mercer is a good fit for him."
Ever since he assumed a starting role as a sophomore, Armstrong consistently maintained a batting average over .300. This season alone, his average is .380.
The Mercer Bears can use Armstrong's bat. With the season winding down, Mercer is in last place in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Their overall record for the season, thus far, is 17-28 and 6-15 in the conference.
But Armstrong believes things are about to change.
"They've got a new coach and they're getting ready to institute a new program," he said. "There's a very positive feeling coming from them. That's one of the reasons I wanted to play with them."
Standing at 6-feet, 4-inches tall and weighing 220 pounds, the senior's size also sold him to Mercer coaches.
"The key word with them is 'frame,"' Armstrong said with a laugh. "They like that I have the potential to get bigger, grow stronger and, hopefully, play better."
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