TRM’s Booker commits to play baseball at USA
Published 6:00 am Wednesday, July 29, 2015
It is not often that a high school athlete verbally commits to the college he plans to attend before the start of their junior season, but that is exactly what T.R. Miller athlete Joseph “JoJo” Booker has done.
Booker recently committed to play baseball at the University of South Alabama in Mobile.
“It feels unreal,” Booker said. “I never expected to already be committed. It all just happened really fast.”
Booker said the reasons he committed to the Jaguar baseball program is because they have a great baseball program and they are close to home.
“I really like all of the coaches there,” Booker said. “I am excited to play for them.”
Booker, who plays travel baseball for the South Alabama Fury and the Triton Rays and also played for the Gulf Coast Lightning when he was younger, said he recently played in a showcase at USA with one of his travel ball teams and USA head coach Mark Calvi watched him take part in the event.
“A few weeks later I played with the Triton Rays at the World Wood Bat Association (WWBA) and Coach (Bob) Keller came and watched me pitch. Coach Keller gave his number to the Triton Rays coach and told him to give it to me. I called him, and that’s where it all started. Honestly I’m still kind of shocked.”
Booker said over the next few years, he hopes to continue to get stronger and focus on getting better.
“I don’t want to focus on being content,” he said. “Hopefully at USA, I really think we will have a chance at making the College World Series and hopefully win it.”
As for the next two seasons in high school at TRM, Booker said he expects good things under new head coach Kevin Madden. Madden replaces longtime TRM head coach Jim Hart.
“I’m really excited about playing for coach Madden,” Booker said. “He is going to make a huge difference in our baseball program, and I think we will have a big chance at a State Championship in the next few years. I just want to thank God for giving me this opportunity to continue my baseball career after high school. God is always going to be number one in my life.”
During his sophomore season for the Tigers, that saw TRM go 19-2 before being swept by Cottage Hill in the first round of the playoffs to finish the season 19-4, Booker went 6-1 on the mound.
He finished with a 1.75 ERA and pitched 44 innings. He allowed 22 runs, 11 earned, walked 28, allowed 23 hits, struck out 60 and hit four batters.
As a hitter, Booker played in 22 games and had a .382 average. He had 68 at-bats and scored 12 runs. He had 26 hits, 21 RBIs, four doubles, nine walks, struck out 10 times and was hit three times.