Dreams fulfilled

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Another member of the most successful Pike Liberal Arts baseball team in the program’s history is moving on to the next level.

Tuesday morning, Ross Hixon signed the dotted line, officially committing to play at Southern Union next season.

“I’m really excited,” Hixon said about continuing his baseball career in college. “It was kind of a long process – I’m glad to get it off my chest.

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“It’s a great feeling. It feels like all the hard work I have done over the years has paid off.”

In his senior campaign with the Patriots, Hixon batted leadoff and in doing so was a spark plug for a very explosive PLAS team.

Hixon played in all 35 games, and led the team in three different offensive categories, with 128 at-bats, 54 hits and 17 stolen bases.

The second baseman also finished with 52 runs scored four home runs, 42 RBIs and a .422 bating average.

The former Patriots’ play on the field was noticed by more than the PLAS faithful, as Hixon was selected to the AISA All-Star game twice, the 2010 AISA All-Tournament team, named to the All-State second baseman Honorable Mention list in 2010 and was an All-County second baseman in 2009.

“Ross always found a way to get on base,” PLAS head coach Butch Austin said. “He once told me, that was his main priority – getting on base.”

While Austin was Hixon’s coach for the past four years, the coach said he had been watching Hixon play since he was in T-Ball.

“He has always been a competitor,” Austin said.

“Ross was a great leader for us, and I am very proud for him and the whole Hixon family.”

Along with his performance at the plate, Hixon shined on the mound as well.

He finished with a record of 2-1, with a 2.75 ERA, 44 strikeouts and three saves in 28 innings pitched.

Hixon won’t be the only PLAS baseball player playing for the community college next season.

Will Starling signed with the Bisons earlier in April and said having Hixon join him is exciting.

“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” he said.

“Ross and I have been playing together since we were five-years-old and to have him up there with me is going to be a lot fun.”

Both Starling and Hixon are the only baseball players to sign scholarships, so far.

At Southern Union, Hixon will be playing in an area on the diamond he knows fairly well, the infield.

“It’s kind of like a home to me,” he said about playing in the infield.

“It’s something I know and am comfortable with.”

Joe Jordan, the head coach for the Southern Union team said Hixon was a player that he thought would fit in well.

“We have been watching Ross for about a year,” Jordan said.

“He is a good player that does a lot of good things offensively. He came highly recommended from Butch [Austin] and when that happens you listen,” he said with a laugh.

Now, Hixon gets to live out a dream of his that he has had since he was playing in the recreation baseball fields in Troy.

“[Playing baseball at this level] is something I have always dreamed of doing,” Hixon said.

“It’s a great feeling and I am very thankful.”