Looney signs with Columbia State
After watching former Cornersville staff ace Lucas Laster dominate opposing hitters for two years (2012-13), Columbia State Community College baseball coach Mike Corn added another talented left-handed CHS pitcher to his program on Friday morning when senior David Looney signed a letter of intent to play for the Chargers.
Although Looney had a scholarship offer from Central Florida and received interest from a number of other Division I schools, he chose to follow the same path as Laster, who posted a 14-3 record and a 2.73 ERA in two years at Columbia State before eventually signing with Mississippi State.
Dream comes true
"I'm glad that coach Corn has given me this opportunity. It's been a dream of mine to play college baseball for a long time. I've seen what coach Corn can do with his pitchers, and I'm excited to play for him," said Looney.
"I like the program and I know it's a good atmosphere there. I think it will be a good fit for me because it will be close to home."
While he knows that the two pitchers will inevitably be compared to one another, coach Corn sees differences between Looney and Laster's pitching styles.
"I think Lucas has more of a traditional left-handed delivery whereas David has a little more deception and a lower arm slot. David has better off-speed pitches while Lucas has more control of his fastball," said Corn.
"They have different personalities as well, and they're both going to be their own man."
With Columbia State losing a number of pitchers from this year's squad, which finished the 2015 campaign with a 32-18 record, Looney has a chance to contribute right away for the Chargers.
"David is coming in at the right time because we've graduated a lot of sophomore pitchers. It's good to get a local guy like David because we like to recruit the six or seven counties around us," said Corn.
"We're excited to have David and his family join our family. We have high expectations of David, not only as a player but in the classroom."
A two-time All-State selection, Looney earned the reputation as a big-game pitcher early in his career when he posted a 9-2 record with a 2.16 ERA as a sophomore en route to leading Cornersville to its first Class A State Tournament berth.
Looney was at his best during the Bulldogs' magical 2013 postseason run and posted a 5-0 record and a 1.87 ERA in the playoffs while racking up 47 strikeouts in 30 innings of work.
"He's very competitive. Everyone wants to win, but he's got a little extra fire about him that's allowed him to do well in big games," said Cornersville coach Ben Putman.
"What's been impressive about David is that not only is he a good player, but he's a leader on the field."
Looney followed that up with an impressive junior season that saw the Bulldogs finish second in the District 11-A standings and reach the Region 6-A tournament for the second straight year.
During the 2014 campaign, Looney captured district MVP honors after tallying a 9-3 record, notching a 1.80 ERA, and collecting 134 strikeouts over 74 innings while also posting a .344 batting average and driving in 15 runs.
Looney continues to post eye-popping numbers during his senior season that saw Cornersville capture its second district tournament title in three years while he was named district MVP for the second straight year.
As a senior, Looney has posted an 8-0 record, registered a microscopic 1.34 ERA, and has fanned 137 batters over 57.1 innings. He is enjoying another productive season at the plate as well and currently owns a .296 batting average while driving in 24 runs, second most on the team.
Looney has also been an active student at Cornersville outside of baseball. Along with being a four-year member of the Bulldog basketball team, he boasts a 3.64 GPA while being a member of the Beta Club, the Future Farmers of America, the Leo Club, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
With college athletic programs constantly mining the high school ranks for talent, it appears that coach Corn has unearthed another pitching gem at Cornersville.