E.A. Sports Today

Cobb makes it official

Hard-hitting Alexandria infielder signs to play college baseball



By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Dalton Cobb has been waiting for Wednesday since the first day he started looking at places to play college baseball.

“A long time,” he said.

The hard-hitting Alexandria infielder committed to the college of his choice going into his junior season and made it official Wednesday morning when he signed and sent his national letter of intent to Jacksonville State. A signing celebration is expected at the high school next week.

“I’ve been waiting for this for a while,” Cobb said. “I committed going into my junior year; I knew this is where I wanted to go. I went on a visit two weekends ago, met the team and hung out with them and that’s when I knew for sure that’s where I wanted to go. I’m excited and looking forward to it. I just want to play ball.”

Cobb is one of six players from the Oxford-based Excel Baseball Academy who either signed Wednesday or will sign in the coming days of the early signing period.

The others are Pelham LHP-outfielder Tyler Wilburn (JSU), Pelham catcher-shortstop Hunter Stovall (Mississippi State), Hewitt-Trussville shortstop Carter Pharis (UAB), Hoover RHP Caleb Gilbert and Ft. Payne shortstop Alan Smith (Auburn).

Stovall is the cousin of former Braves draftee Tyler Stovall; both their fathers graduated from Oxford. Gilbert is the first Excel player to sign with LSU.

“This is a very, very talented group of guys,” Excel co-founder and coach Josh Beshears said. “Obviously, when you see the schools they are going to, you’ve got to assume they’re pretty good ballplayers, but they are more than good players. They’re exceptional.”

Cobb was last season’s Class 4A all-state shortstop. He hit .467 with seven home runs, 24 extra-base hits and 39 RBIs. During the All-Star Sports Week doubleheader in Montgomery this summer, he went 1-for-3 with two walks, delivering an RBI triple and scoring the tying run in a six-run seventh-inning nightcap rally that earned the North a split.

“Dalton is phenomenal; he is one of the top hitters in the state, without question,” Beshears said. “I expect a lot of big things from him this spring (and) I think he’s a guy who can definitely contribute as a freshman (at the college level).”

Cobb played second, short, third and – for the first time in his career – right field in the all-star games. He will play shortstop for the Valley Cubs this spring and is expected to play third at JSU.

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