Scott Cornett knows where there is some good baseball being played.
And that’s the southern West Virginia coalfields.
Cornett, the Alice Lloyd College baseball coach, signed a pair of Man High School ballplayers recently, as Jacob Frazier and Cameron Simpson inked with the Eagles.
Frazier is a 2020 Man High School graduate, while Simpson graduated from Man in 2017.
McCormick had signed with the Eagles back in the fall. Neither McCormick nor Frazier were able to play in their senior seasons this spring due to the season being shut down over the COVID-19 crisis.
With the three Man players headed to Alice Lloyd that brings the total to 11 of southern West Virginia coalfield ballplayers on the team roster.
Logan High School’s Dawson Beckett and Ethan Carter signed on just recently with Alice Lloyd. Logan’s Connor McGrew had earlier inked with the Eagles.
The new group will join the five southern West Virginia athletes already on the Alice Lloyd baseball roster in: Noah Dingess of Chapmanville, Tjay Mullins, Peyton Branham and Isaiah Beckett of Logan and Peyton Brown of Scott High School in Boone County.
Simpson, a former middle infielder for the Hillbillies, is the younger brother to former Man All-State player Jordan Simpson. Cameron Simpson was also an All-Stater.
“Cameron Simpson was overwhelmingly one of the most talented players that I’ve coached,” Man coach Mike Crosby said. “He’s extremely powerful and has a really good arm. He’s the best player that I’ve coached that has graduated. He’s got great hand-eye coordination. He was Mr. Automatic at shortstop. If it was hit in his direction I knew that it was going to be taken care of. He’s deceptively fast too. He’s a big, strong kid and you don’t expect him to be that fast. He’s had the itch to play (in college) but he’s had to find the right situation for him.”
Frazier played in many positions in his Man career.
“Jacob’s love for the game developed every year that I’ve had him,” Crosby said. “He went from playing baseball just to have something to do to absolutely loving the game. He and my assistant coach Jack Daniels jelled really well. Jacob is a very athletic kid. He played basketball and baseball both. He’s got terrific range. Jack helped him a lot as a middle infielder. Jacob wanted to model himself just like Jack. He had his ups and downs at the plate but we expected him to turn the corner this year but then we were unable to play the season. He’s a very good fielder and base runner. He played just about anywhere I ha a hole and it was in lock down. He started out as an outfielder but he’s so athletic. We had a lot of corners at first and third so he ended up as a middle infielder. He was one of the best infielders I had going into this year.”
Crosby said McCormick will also do well at ALC.
“Dylan McCormick has a good stick,” he said. “He works at it and spends a ton of time in the cages.”
Crosby said he’s glad that Alice Lloyd is recruiting southern West Virginia very well.
“Coach Cornett also has an offer out to Caleb Blevins my shortstop and my first baseman, Brady Hall,” Crosby said. “Not sure if that’s where they will be going. Coach Cornett has such a wonderful personality. He played in the minor leagues with the New York Yankee organization and knows the game very well. He’s a very good man. This is great for these boys. There’s a bunch of Logan County boys there. When I was coaching at Logan in 2015 I took some players over for a visit. Coach Cornett has definitely been in contact with the southern West Virginia boys. There’s a lot of good ball being played in Logan County. If there was a college in Logan County and you could take all the boys from the three schools in Man, Logan and Chapmanville all together you would have one heck of a baseball squad.”
Alice Lloyd College is a small NAIA school nestled in the eastern Kentucky mountain hamlet of Pippa Passes, population 533, in Knott County.
The Eagles saw their 2020 season cut short back in March due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Alice Lloyd had just played a series early March games in Vero Beach, Florida, the former winter home of the Los Angeles Dodgers and on the return trip back played a pair of games on March 10 in the Smokies Classic in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, falling 9-1 to Union (Ky.) and 7-1 to Johnson University before the season was halted, then later canceled.
The Eagles finished at 6-4 on the abbreviated season.
MILTON’S HEADED TO WV TECH: Crosby said Man graduated senior outfielders and twin brothers Caleb and Sam Milton are headed to West Virginia Tech to play baseball for the Golden Bears.
Both were also top football players at Man. Caleb was Man’s quarterback, while Sam was a top wide receiver.
“So we will have five baseball players going to play in college,” Crosby said. “Sam was my lead off hitter and center fielder while Caleb was the right fielder. Both pitched a little bit as well. We had a very good outfield with Zach Frye playing in left field. Zach is going to play college football. It’s already a done deal with the Miltons. They pretty much have to put pen to paper and take a picture. They have already been accepted.”