Pugh joins Troy State

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 26, 2003

Clint Pugh will not have younger brother Tyson in the dugout with him next spring, but the two will still share a team nickname.

Clint, who graduated from Charles Henderson High School, signed a scholarship agreement with Troy State. The third baseman will continue to be known as a Trojan, although he will wear a different color.

"I had a few other offers, but I just wanted to stay at home," Pugh said. "I was really impressed with the coaching staff and what Troy State is trying to do."

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Pugh was a star third baseman for Charles Henderson this season. He said he does not know what position he will play once he moves to Riddle-Pace Field, but he is open to whatever the Trojans assign him.

"Infield or outfield, it doesn't really matter to me," he said.

Pugh's decision to play Division I college baseball, and his ability to be able to sign with a Division I school drew praise from his high school coach.

"I'm very proud of Clint," said Charles Henderson High School head coach Steve Garrett. "He had some other offers from junior colleges, but he had his heart set on going to Troy State. I think he had his mind made up for a long time."

When Pugh meets his new teammates, he will have to join a former teammate in the process.

Pugh spent the first three seasons at Charles Henderson playing alongside Justin Sims. Before their senior seasons, though, Sims became a Patriot for Pike Lib (though some at Charles Henderson might say he was a Tory). Sims signed with Troy State as well and will begin fall workouts at the same time Pugh does.

But Pugh does not have any ill will towards Sims.

"He made his own decision, but I look forward to playing with him," Pugh said.

Troy State head coach Bobby Pierce will enter his second season at Troy State this year, but his presence has already been noticed around Pike County. Pierce has put an emphasis on adding local talent, and the change in approach has been noted.

"I don't want to say anything bad about the other coaches, but I have seen coach Pierce and coach Smartt around town more," Garrett said. "I know I've seen them at our games, and they've been at other schools in the area. Kids around here are brought up on baseball."