E.A. Sports Today

Changing places

Newest Yellow Jacket Spivey looked for a change after all his longtime baseball buddies graduated from White Plains, plays first game with new team Monday

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD – Jake Spivey was looking to make a change after all his lifelong playing buddies had graduated and for an opportunity to better his chances to play on the next level.

That’s basically the reason the rising senior slugger transferred to Oxford after having played his entire varsity career at White Plains. That and the fact his father played for the Yellow Jackets and both his parents graduated from there.

Spivey has been getting to know his new Oxford family since late May and played in his first live game with his new baseball teammates Monday in an 8-2 loss to Etowah at Choccolocco Park. A second game against Wetumpka was rained out.

He caught for the first three innings, DH’d after that and batted three times with a walk, two stolen bases and a pair of strikeouts on 3-2 changeups. He came within inches of a two-run extra-base hit into the left field corner in his second at-bat, but the shot was ruled just foul.

“I love (White Plains football) coach (Chris) White and (Wildcats baseball) coach (Wes) Henderson, I just wanted a change; it’s really nothing else,” Spivey said Monday. “Change something up, experience something new. Trying to go play college baseball and I thought this would better prepare me.”

Spivey’s actually been working out with Oxford athletes since the end of May. His first experience was with the football team, where he’s expected to play center. Monday was the first day of summer workouts with the baseball team and it’s such a new experience he spent a couple minutes before the game reviewing signs with Yellow Jackets coach Wes Brooks and starting pitcher Trey Mooney.

Spivey is expected to provide punch to the middle of the Oxford lineup while giving the Yellow Jackets options behind the plate and the corner infield positions. He hit .460 with eight homers and 40 RBIs while earning first-team All-State honors in Class 4A. He had 14 career homers, 71 career RBIs and hit .483 and .460 the previous two years.

“Between (Jarin) Turner, (Will) McDow and Jake you’ve got three sticks in the middle of the order and you’ve got a lot of options there,” Brooks said. “Going in to January’s practice all nine jobs are open. I’m excited to see Jake compete for a starting job … and helping him, as far as Oxford baseball, giving him another avenue so he can further his education through athletics after school.

“I can already see (Russell County Auburn commitment) Logan Austin and (Oxford Alabama commitment) Turner throw Opening Day so all the big (scouts) are here to see those two arms and he’s behind the plate catching and he hits a double or home run, then there you go, he’s got a D-I offer.”

The Yellow Jackets’ summer play dates series continues Tuesday:

Signature Field: Wetumpka vs. Southside, 2 p.m.; Handley vs. Southside, 4:15 p.m.; Alexandria I vs. Clay Central, 6:30 p.m.

Field BB1: Etowah vs. Pleasant Valley, 2 p.m.; Etwumpka vs. Clay Central, 4:15 p.m.; Oxford Grey vs. Handley, 6:30 p.m.

Field BB2: Alexandria I vs. Etowah, 4:15 p.m.; Alexandria II vs. Pleasant Valley, 6:30 p.m.

Cover photo: Jake Spivey was behind the plate for Oxford Monday night after transferring from White Plains. (Photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

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