Brewer signs with rising RedHawks squad

Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Forrest's Zack Brewer is flanked by his parents Lea Ann and Steve Brewer as he signs his Letter of Intent to play baseball next season at Martin Methodist College in Pulaski. Also present at the signing in the back row from left is Forrest Athletic Director Scott Delk, Rocket freshman Alex Brewer, Martin Methodist College head baseball coach Kelly Bratton and FHS Assistant Principal Davy McClaran. Photo by Anthony S. Puca

Last Wednesday in Chapel Hill, Forrest's Zack Brewer signed a Letter of Intent to join the RedHawks' baseball program next season at Martin Methodist College in Pulaski.

Martin Methodist head coach Kelly Bratton said about Brewer, "Zack is another dual player, he will have an opportunity to play somewhere on the field and pitching, but I think his upside is on the mound. He throws strikes, he throws his breaking ball for strikes, and he swings the bat good, so he is just an all-around good player for us."

"Martin is definitely a good fit for me," said Brewer. "I just want to play ball, just go in there and have a good career, finish up college, play and have fun."

Brewer compiled some impressive credentials in his four years as a Rocket pitcher and second baseman, including being named to the All District 9-A Team in 2010, 2011, and 2012.

"I loved playing here at Forrest with my friends," said Brewer. "I have played with these guys since I was like three or four. I just come out and have fun and just play the game."

Brewer also won the Forrest batting title in each of those seasons with averages of .411 this year and .388 in 2011.

The hard throwing righty was the ace of the Forrest pitching staff and turned in a stellar 1.82 earned run average on the mound this season and had a 2.46 ERA last year.

Brewer played for the Brentwood Bulldogs travel squad in 2010 and 2011 and is now a member of the Columbia American Legion Post 19 baseball team, who won the American Legion World Series title in 2007.

"It's always neat to see new things, meet new people you have never seen before, it's just a good experience to go out and relax and have fun playing the game," said Brewer.

Chapel Hill native, Forrest graduate, Vanderbilt University standout, and Atlanta Braves' first round pick Mike Minor played for the Brentwood Bulldogs from 2004-2006 before being selected to the United States Collegiate National Team in 2007.

"I want to take this as far as possible," said Brewer. "I won't be done until somebody tells me to put my cleats away."

Brewer is the first Forrest baseball player since Minor to sign a college scholarship directly out of high school.

Brewer sports an impressive 3.5 G.P.A. and wants to pursue a career in either education or nursing.

"I will just go out there and do my best," said Brewer, who will join a Red Hawks' squad that has several Marshall County players on the roster, including former Forrest teammate Coy Schultz and MCHS graduates Brandon Hollingsworth, Marcus Green and Ethan Chapman.

"It's going to be a big adjustment from high school baseball to college baseball, but I think he will make that adjustment," said Bratton. "We have a senior second baseman this year and a few upper classmen pitching. Our pitching staff is young though, we have signed some local talent here in Marshall County, Loretto and some different places like that, but these guys are going to be thrown into the fire quick."

Brewer said about being a freshman, "I will just go out there and do my best. Just relax, don't be scared of anything, practice just like everybody else does, work hard and just go out and play."

Since Bratton's arrival at his alma mater in 2010, the Red Hawks have improved their record each season and in 2011-2012, Martin Methodist (31-24) finished tied for fourth in the TranSouth Conference with a 14-10 record, just two games behind first place Freed-Hardeman.

"Thirty-one wins this year," said Bratton. "We have increased our win total every year, so this year we have got to get over that hump, we want to get that regional bid with a chance to go to the World Series. We are bringing in good guys that are going to do what they are supposed to do in the classroom and the baseball field as well, and Zack is one of those guys."

Recently, Zack Bailey, Clint Gobbell, James Woody, Jake Ray were tabbed as TranSouth Scholar Athletes, while Rob Holley and Dillon Sands both earned honors as NAIA Scholar Athletes for the 2011-2012 season.

To be considered for the TranSouth Scholar Athlete award, a student-athlete must have a 3.0 GPA and must be at least a sophomore academically. To earn the NAIA Scholar Athlete award, a student athlete must have a 3.5 GPA, be at least a junior academically, and must have completed one full year at their institution.

Last season, eight Red Hawks were rewarded for their hard work on the field and at their studies, being selected to the TSAC Scholar Athlete team, including two NAIA Scholar Athletes.