ARITON – Actions speak louder than words for Bryson Peavy and Carson Fain, two multi-talented athletes who helped the Purple Cats to a 25-17 record and into the quarterfinal round of the Class 2A baseball playoffs this spring.
Fain, a pitcher and outfielder, hit for a .419 batting average with 40 RBIs, 16 doubles and four home runs while compiling a 5-3 record on the mound.
Peavy, a third baseball/first baseman who also plays in the outfield, hit for a .390 average with 31 RBIs, nine doubles and three home runs.
Even with the impressive statistics compiled during high school play, Ariton coach Jonnathan Valdez believes the best is yet to come on the baseball field for the duo.
Peavy and Fain each signed scholarships with Lurleen B. Wallace of Andalusia on Monday morning to continue their baseball careers.
“He’s dominating with his fastball, but he’s got a really good looking breaking pitch that can get anybody off balance,” Valdez said of Fain, who is projected to be a pitcher in college. “I think at the next level he will learn to throw a third pitch, and after that, good luck to the hitter.”
As for Peavy, a 6-foot-3, 190-pounder who was more known for his football skills than baseball, Valdez believes “the sky is the limit” for the athlete.
“He was a football guy when I came here,” said Valdez, who is in his second year at the school. “For me, I saw he has everything a baseball player needs – speed, size, the arm, the strength.
“I said, ‘You’ve got what it takes to be in the next level and beyond just from the physical parts.’ At first he didn’t have any idea what he was fully capable of.”
LBW assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Brandon Ware, who represented the junior college at the signing, is excited about what the two players could bring to the program.
“I think Bryson is really going to get better as a player when he can focus just on baseball,” Ware said. “I think physically, it’s certainly there and we look forward to seeing what happens when we get a full year to work with him on just baseball.
“He’s strong and fast. He’s got bat speed. You would hope with the more reps year round that the hitting gets even better. But physically, he’s there. He’s just got to get more reps to get better and better.”
Fain’s brother, Austin, was a member of the LBW team several years ago.
“A couple of summers ago when he was coming out of 10th grade, we knew there was a lot there and followed him through coach Valdez,” Ware said. “We had his brother a few years ago. We think there is a lot there to work with. We think he’s a competitor much like his brother was. We just want him to get out there on the mound for us and compete.”
Both Peavy and Fain are comfortable with their choice of LBW.
“I just weighed my options, really, and decided baseball was best for me,” Peavy said. “I liked the coaches and I’ve got some friends that go there. Me and Carson talked about it and it was better to go with him than going anywhere else.”
Fain said much the same.
“My brother (Austin) went there and I liked it better than anywhere else I went,” Fain said. “It means a lot (to sign). It’s really good to get to go over there and keep playing. I’m going to try and get faster and get a little bigger – strengthen my arm a little bit.”
Valdez has no doubt that each player can improve at the next level.
“Bryson is a fighter,” Valdez said. “He’s going to give you everything he’s got. A strength for him is his athleticism. He may be a little bit behind in something, but the athleticism will help him to catch up.
“Carson is a great kid with a great arm, willing to learn and willing to improve. He was always absorbing on how he can get better and get to the next level. He’s going to the right program and he will be special.”