Baseball Lions sign Peculiar talent
Dakota Pruitt: Stout infielder has clout
Tenth recruit is team's second from Missouri
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The wave of incoming talent continues to crest! The Southwestern Assemblies of God University baseball team added another student-athlete to an impressive class.
On Thursday, July 6, SAGU head coach Jonathan Shockley ventured to the Kansas City, Missouri suburbs to safeguard the services of infielder Dakota (Kody) Pruitt. In the company of his parents, Shockley signed the power-hitting third baseman while the group enjoyed a BBQ meal.
The 5-foot-9, 185-pounder has experience on the corners of the infield. The right-handed Pruitt is a three-time All-State performer from Raymore-Peculiar High School. Roughly 30 miles south of K.C., the Panthers compete in Missouri’s Class 5A.
Besides a very capable glove, testified by a .987 fielding percentage, the punch he delivers with his bat is an eye-opener. Pruitt toted a .402 club in his senior season, driving in 37 runs while swatting 7 home runs. In addition, he was walked 24 times.
Coach Shockley’s task at hand in his first off-season at SAGU has been to replace the loss of nine seniors, including all three starters in the outfield, the first string third-baseman, a catcher, and five pitchers. By inking Pruitt, this class of recruits now totals ten.
The second year skipper vowed to target hurlers and hitters. While the ballclub’s earned run average was 5.27 in 2012, the best in the past seven years, the offense had a need for producing runs in the clutch as well as for more muscle at bat.
In order to score, SAGU manufactured runs by swiping 94 bases, 50 more than 2011 and 71 more than in 2010. During 42 games the squad hit .284, fourth best in the Red River Athletic Conference, though their 3.57 runs per game were ninth.
During the Lions’ most successful season in 2006 (20-22-1 record), they hit .338, scored 7.33 runs, thumped 16 HR and stole 90 bases. Their ERA was 5.38.
The Lions turned 22 double plays this past season after a lone twin-killing in 2011. The season saw the club moving in the right direction.
Pruitt will be in the picture at third, first or second base, particularly if his productivity at the plate is more than barbeque.
He racked up All-Suburban Conference First Team selections in all four years in Peculiar, a name that was chosen after the town’s first postmaster had his early ideas for the city’s label rejected. Annoyed, he wrote to the Postmaster General himself to complain saying, among other things, "We don't care what name you give us so long as it is sort of 'peculiar'."
Born in Kansas City, and named Kody for short by his mom, Pruitt enjoyed a productive prep career under head coach Gary Renshaw. The Panthers improved from 12-19 in his sophomore campaign to 17-12 and then 22-9 as a senior.
He listed his personal highlight as a home run to win the district championship for the Panthers.
Besides garnering All-State recognition during those seasons, he was conference Player of the Year twice and Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. Pruitt was the Panthers’ Most Valuable Player and team captain for two seasons.
“Dakota should be a solid contributor,” conveyed Coach Shockley. “His skill set offers a lot to like, and his influence on the field and the classroom will make him very suited for SAGU.”
Pruitt, whose current hometown, Raymore, is just seven miles north of Peculiar, plans to study Sports Management.
He represented Missouri in the 2011 Junior Sunbelt. The annual event, held in McAlester, Oklahoma, showcases All-Star teams from Texas, Mississippi, Arizona, Tennessee, Georgia, Colorado, Oklahoma and Missouri.
“I’m really happy about coming to SAGU,” Pruitt said this week. “I look forward to being part of this team and to play for Coach 'Shock.' I believe we will turn this program into a winning one!”
Known for his batting proficiencies, he hits with power to all fields.
At Ray-Pec High School his statistics were consistent and revealed plenty of wallop. During his sophomore year he hit .397, drove in 32 runs and smacked five home runs. He followed that with a .392, 36 and eight dinger effort in his junior campaign.
Pruitt’s senior swansong revealed no let-up, stroking to the tune of .402, knocking in 37 and thumping seven taters.
His career totes were .394, 117 ribbies and 23 longballs.
He joins SAGU junior-to-be Taylor Froelich (FRAY-lik), who is from nearby Lee's Summit, Missouri.
His parents are James and Tonya. The Pruitt family includes sisters Brittney and Shyane.
About SAGU Baseball
Southwestern begin playing home games on campus in January. The onset of their eight-week fall camp is September 24, when competition for starting roles should be strong.
The team plays in the RRAC and is a dual Division I member in both the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA).
Fans can follow the team by LiveStats, a digital play-by-play, or receive score alerts and headlines on the soon-to-be introduced Athletic Twitter account.
Current Recruiting Class
|Player||Height||Position(s)||Birthplace / Hometown||Previous Team / Head Coach|
|Tyler English||6'0||OF-RHP||Abilene, TX||Gatesville HS / Graig Keeton|
|Gage Anderson||5'10||RHP-C||Rapid City, SD||Blooming Grove HS (TX) / Matt Anderson|
|Rusty Hensel||5'11||1B-3B||Maypearl, TX||Dallas Christian College / Denny Dixon|
|Hayden Killebrew||6'0||RHP||Red Oak, TX||Red Oak HS / Jay Johnson|
|Austin Martinez||5'11||OF||Childress, TX||Grandview HS / Ryan Ebner|
|Billy Mee||5'10||3B||Fayetteville, NC||Copperas Cove HS / C.J. Wilk|
|Dakota Pruitt||5'9||3B||Kansas City, MO||Raymore-Peculiar HS / Gary Renshaw|
|Sal Rico, Jr.||5'9||RHP-2B||Houston, TX||Mt. Carmel Academy / Salvador Rico, Sr.|
|Micah Thompson||5'6||2B-RHP||Waco, TX||Gatesville HS / Graig Keeton|
|Nick Turley||6'5||RHP||Dallas, TX||CFNI, Ovilla Christian / Dustin Robinson|