Colquitt County's Cole Pitts signs with Georgia Tech
November 11, 2010Colquitt County Sr High School
By Wayne Grandy of 'The Moultrie Observer'
MOULTRIE - Colquitt County's Cole Pitts says the only thing on that will be on his mind between now and when he begins his college baseball career is "working, just working to get better."
And that has to be sweet music to the Georgia Tech baseball program.
Pitts signed with Georgia Tech on Wednesday in the Colquitt County High media center, surrounded by family, coaches, teammates and other students.
An All-Region 1-AAAAA selection last season, Pitts stock rose even further during the summer when the velocity on his fastball jumped from 89 mph to 93 mph.
He then earned the Most Valuable Pitcher Award while playing for Team Georgia in the Junior Sunbelt Classic in Oklahoma last summer and it was apparent he would have his pick of Division I schools.
Georgia Tech was his pick.
One of the college baseball's top programs - the Yellow Jackets were 47-15 last year, advancing to the NCAA Regional and have been to the College World Series in 1994, 2002 and 2006 - have landed one of state's top pitching prospects.
Pitts says Georgia Tech has always been his favorite school and he likes "the little city" feel, despite being inside bustling Atlanta.
And if he plays up to what his coaches feel his potential is, he can make some big contributions to the city.
Already blessed with mound presence at 6-foot-6, 215 pounds, Pitts tweaked his delivery this summer to increase his velocity.
"It's given me more power," said Pitts, who had plenty before.
Packers pitching coach Zach Grage said he and head coach Tony Kirkland believed last season that there was "so much more in his tank. We just weren't getting it out."
After the change in mechanics, his improved fastball has joined a better-than-average changeup and a new cutter and curve ball.
"And at 6-foot-6, he shortens the distance to the plate," said Grage, envisioning Pitts dominating high school batters next spring.
"He's going to be one of those players the other guys look up to next season," Grage said.
Pitts said he likes the Georgia Tech coaches and said that Yellow Jacket pitching coach Tom Kinkelaar calls him about once every two weeks.
Soon the Packers will begin preparing for the 2011 season and Pitts said he believes the Packers will have a shot at, not only a Region 1-AAAAA title, but a state championship as well.
"We're a pretty good team," he said. "We've got just about everybody coming back."
Kirkland is certainly looking forward to next season, his second since returning to Moultrie to take over the Packers program.
He said he has enjoyed watching Pitts develop as both an athlete and as a player.
Kirkland said Pitts' increased recent work in the weight room has allowed him to add strength.
"He has unlimited possibilities," Kirkland said. "I'm looking forward to having him back for his senior season."
And Kirkland alluded to the fact that a strong spring could make Pitts attractive in the major league draft.
"I think he might have some more decisions to make," Kirkland said. "But anytime someone has the opportunity to sign and play at any level it sends a great message.
"It's great for Cole, for his parents, for the school and for the community. And this opens doors not just for him, but for others in the future too."