MURFREESBORO – Two years ago, Clay Riggs missed his junior season of high school baseball while battling a lung ailment at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
Now, the Riverdale graduate will get a chance to pitch in college.
Riggs, a 6-foot-8 right-handed pitcher, has signed with Jackson State Community College. He went 1-2 on the mound this past season with a 4.38 ERA in his first year back after spending most of the 2013 season with collapsed lungs.
He was a co-recipient of The Daily News Journal’s Travis Weber Courage Award in April.
“He has shown a lot of resilency to get to this point,” Riverdale baseball coach Barry Messer said. “He deserves to get to play. He’s had to work twice as hard as an average baseball player to get to where needed to compete before all of this happened.
“He has shown what the payoff is. If you work hard and have faith, good things will happen.”
More signings: Central Magnet graduates Alex Ropp and Will Norfleet have also signed baseball scholarships.
Ropp, who was named to The Daily News Journal’s All Area Baseball First Team, has signed with Jackson State. Ropp was 9-2 with a 1.06 ERA. He struck out 89 in 66 innings pitched. He was also named to the TSWA Class AA All-State team.
Norfleet signed with Roane State. He was 8-1 with a 0.93 ERA and was an all-region member.
National rankings: Both Oakland and Blackman were ranked nationally by NationalHSFootball.com. Oakland, which went 12-1 in 2013, was ranked No. 47. Blackman, which went 11-3 a year ago, is ranked No. 86.
Maryville, which went 15-0 and won the Class 6A state title in 2013, was ranked 48th and was the only other Tennessee team ranked.
St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) was ranked No. 1. Hoover, Alabama was ranked No.4. Hoover hosts Blackman this season.
Committed: Blackman senior volleyball player Danielle Ged recently committed to Lincoln Memorial. Ged, a 6-foot-2 middle hitter, had 204 kills, 229 blocks with 324 digs in 2013.
Contact Tom Kreager at 615-278-5168 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Kreager.