POPLARVILLE, Miss. — Two more Pearl River Wildcats are headed to the next level.
Alford and McKay are the seventh and eighth members of the 2020 baseball team who have signed with four-year programs, joining Southeastern Louisiana signees Kasey Donaldson (Gulfport; West Harrison) and Trace McNabb (Foxworth; West Marion), Southern Miss signee Reece Ewing (Mobile, Ala.; Faith Academy), ULM signee Reid Golemon (Moselle; South Jones), Louisiana Tech signee Cade Hodges (Brookhaven; Loyd Star) and Bryson Ware (Gluckstadt; Germantown).
Alford is one of two freshmen who signed with a four-year school before ever appearing in an official game for PRCC. An Ole Miss commit out of high school before enrolling at The River, Alford opted to sign with the Bulldogs on Thursday.
"I'm ready to be a Bulldog," Alford said. "It was a good process. In the fall I had a lot of schools looking at me, but I think State was the best fit for me and my family.
"They have the best field, best atmosphere, the best fans. They have everything I was looking for."
Alford is expected to be among the leaders in PRCC's pitching staff in 2020.
"Kole is an electric left-handed pitcher who had a return to form after a tough injury in high school," Avalon said. "Through his hard work and determination, he has done the necessary work to return to being a SEC caliber pitcher."
McKay was an important member of the Wildcats' Region XXIII Championship and run to the NJCAA Tournament as a freshman a year ago. The strong-armed catcher hit .224 but boasted a .465 on-base percentage with four extra-base hits — including two homers — and 14 RBIs. He also came around to score 16 times and stole a base. Defensively, McKay threw out six of 18 base stealers.
"Britt has been a pleasure to coach over the last year and half," Avalon said. "He's a young man you can always look to as an example of hard work and doing things correctly.
"He has continually improved and it's very rewarding to see him receive this opportunity."
McKay is excited to have found a home at the next level alongside Golemon and 2019 All-American Wily Cleland.
"I'm really excited. Couldn't ask for a better program to join," McKay said. "The area was a big factor and the coaches are great. I fell in love with the place."
Including Alford and McKay, Avalon has had 92 players sign at the next level since getting his first head coaching gig at Mississippi Delta in 2012. Thirty-eight of the signees have been Wildcats. More PRCC standouts are expected to sign during the spring semester.
FIRST PITCH BANQUET
Pearl River baseball will host its annual first-pitch banquet at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Olivia Bender Cafeteria on PRCC's Poplarville campus. This year's keynote speaker will be Riser.
The Picayune native has continued SLU's tradition of excellence and in six seasons leading the Lions he has amassed 227 wins.
Tickets for the banquet are $25 for adults, $12 for children 7-12 and free for anyone 6 and under.
To RSVP for the banquet, email Avalon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pearl River signing day