Mustangs’ Lyles signs to play for Lincoln Memorial
by By SARALYN NORKUS Sports Writer
Mar 03, 2013 | 580 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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The Walker Valley Mustangs will have one of their own pitching at the NCAA Division II level next year. On Thursday, Drew Lyles signed with Lincoln Memorial University.

“It’s all just surreal, I never imagined I would be a college baseball player. That dream is coming true, it’s awesome,” Lyles explained at his signing.

Lyles, a left-handed pitcher, feels that his arm is what made him stand out for Lincoln Memorial, which is located in Harrogate.

“Being left-handed gets you a lot of looks that you wouldn’t get if you were right-handed, so that’s an advantage.”

Mustang head coach Joe Shamblin echoed those sentiments.

“He’s a hard-throwing, left-handed pitcher. Anytime you can get a good left-handed pitcher, colleges are always looking for that. Drew fits that description — he throws in the mid 80s plus he’s a very smart kid and has a good baseball head on him.”

Mustang pitching coach Dustin McPherson describes Lyles as a dedicated ballplayer.

“He works hard, he isn’t afraid to stay late and come in early.”

The lefty, who says his curveball is his bread-and-butter pitch, pitched 13 innings last season. In those 13 innings Lyles had 16 walks, 15 total strikeouts, and 7 earned runs allowed.

Lyles has one loss in the record books, an ERA of 3.77 and a WHIP of 1.85.

The decision to sign with Lincoln Memorial wasn’t a difficult one for Lyles, who likes the overall fit of the school.

“They have everything I’m looking for, great facilities, great coaches. I get along with the players already, so it was an easy decision for me.”

Shamblin is happy for his senior pitcher and believes his work ethic will follow him to college.

“It feels great, Drew’s a great young man and I’m excited that he gets to continue to play baseball,” Shamblin said. “He’s a hard worker, and I’m sure he’ll continue to work hard once he gets to college.”

Lyles is looking forward to his future as a Rail Splitter.

“Hopefully I can go in and contribute right away and be a big part of the team.”