McMichael senior Jackson Kirkpatrick recently signed a letter of intent to play baseball at Western Carolina following his high school graduation next spring.
Kirkpatrick was a key player on the 2019 squad which finished with a 17-9 record and a trip to the post season.
On the diamond in 2019 he led the Phoenix with 5-0 record and had a 3.89 ERA and 46 strikeouts as a junior. He also hit 280, had a .398 on base percentage and swiped 11 bases. The right-hander’s fastball topped out at 93 mph this summer. A two sport letterman, Kirkpatrick also play center for the Phoenix basketball team. Academically, Kirkpatrick is a returning two-time Academic All Conference selection and has a 4.33 weighted GPA and is ranked No. 5 in his graduating class.
“Jackson respects the game. He’s worked really, really hard. I mean heck he power cleans over 280 pounds and that doesn’t just happen by chance. Coach Bobby Moranda is getting a great student-athlete and even better young man. He has been a sponge in the weight room, classroom and baseball field. I am proud to have coached him here at McMichael” said head baseball coach Clark Erskine.
Kirkpatrick and the Phoenix will kick off the 2020 campaign with a road trip to Wheatmore on Feb. 21.
“We are extremely proud of Jackson. He loves the game, loves the mound and we are confident that he will continue to grow and enjoy every opportunity to continue playing the game,” Kirkpatrick’s family said in a prepared statement.