Putting a cap on an outstanding high school diamond career that includes a trip to the TSSAA State Championship Tournament this week, Bobby Towne has made his decision on what to do next.
The Walker Valley ace has decided to stay home to continue his baseball career, choosing to become a Cleveland State Cougar and play for coach Mike Policastro.
“Coach Policastro has watched me play summer and fall ball as well as here at Walker Valley, so getting to go play for him is great,” Towne expressed. “ I looked at a couple of other schools but when I prayed about it, Cleveland State felt like the place I needed to go.”
“Cleveland State is a good program and I feel like they will help me develop my game to a higher level, so that I can hopefully continue to play after two years there,” Towne assessed.
“We’re real excited to get Bobby,” proclaimed coach Policastro. “He’s a competitor. He’s a very hard worker and is a very dedicated player. He throws strikes and competes well on the mound.”
Towne, who has the versatility to play several positions, including shortstop, second base and outfielder, will concentrate on pitching when he joins the Cougars.
“I like pitching best,” he remarked. “I like being in control of a game on every pitch.”
“He’s a warrior. He’ll get in there and ‘bulldog’ with anyone,” proclaims Mustang coach Joe Shamblin of his ace who didn’t give up an earned run while going 7-0 during the regular season. “Anytime Bobby’s on the mound, we have a chance to win.”
Towne has an overall 9-1 record, plus has two saves this season, with a 0.89 earned run average while leading Walker Valley to the District 5-AAA regular season title, plus the Region 3-AAA crown. He struck out 87 batters, allowed just 35 hits, walked just 22, plunked only five and threw just one wild pitch in 70 2/3 innings. He has six shutouts in his eight complete games in 11 starts.
After a rough one-inning outing in Cookeville Monday in the region opener, during which he suffered severe pain in his shoulder, he came back to out duel Jordan Sheffield, who has committed to Vanderbilt, in a 1-0 extra-inning battle Friday evening in a TSSAA sectional battle.
“That’s the type of player Bobby is,” commented coach Shamblin. “He doesn’t let what happened last game affect this game. In fact if something doesn’t go the way he wants in one outing, he comes back even more determined the next time.”
At the plate this season, the leadoff hitter posted a .385 batting average, with a .486 on base percentage. He had 10 doubles and a triple in his 45 hits, plus he drove in 22 runs. Towne drew just seven walks but was hit by 18 pitches. He stole 13 bases out of 17 attempts and scored 28 times this season.
Towne becomes the second Mustang to sign with the Cougars this spring as teammate Chris Caffrey inked his papers earlier this month. “Chris and I have played together for several years, here (WVHS), plus summer and fall ball, so it will be good to have somebody I already know there.”
Former Mustang teammate Marcus Hunter and Houston Spencer were freshmen on this year’s Cougar squad.
“The only thing bad I can say about Bobby it that he’s a senior,” joked coach Shamblin about his three-year starter.