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Published: Monday, 5/21/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Perrysburg player commits to Michigan State baseball

BY MARK MONROE
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Perrysburg High School's designated hitter Hunter Smith, center, is congratulated by his teammates at home plate after hitting a home run. Perrysburg High School's designated hitter Hunter Smith, center, is congratulated by his teammates at home plate after hitting a home run.
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Perrysburg outfielder Hunter Smith showcased an intriguing mix of speed and power this spring, making major colleges coaches take notice.

Smith led the Northern Lakes League in home runs as the senior smashed seven over the fence. The left-handed power hitter also stole 13 bases, which caught the eye of Michigan State University coach Jake Boss.

Smith committed to play for the Spartans next season at a ceremony today at Perrysburg High School.

“I'm real excited about heading to East Lansing,” Smith said. “I fell in love with the campus at Michigan State. They saw me play and then coach Boss came to my practice. I went to the campus on May 8 and that's when they offered me a scholarship.”

Other schools that offered scholarships to Smith included Miami of Ohio, Pepperdine, and Cincinnati.

At 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, Smith drove in a team-high 25 runs. He bats left-handed, but throws right-handed.

Smith also showed the ability to hit for average (.344) and good speed (13 of 15 on stolen base attempts). Smith also scored 38 runs. He hit two doubles and two triples as well.

“He is one of best athletes I have ever had,” said Perrysburg coach Dave Hall, who in his 27th season. “He is a very intriguing prospect. If you rate him on speed, he is top notch. And with his power and size he projects pretty high. And then you add in that he is a left-handed hitter … his potential has not yet been tapped.”

Other schools that expressed interest in Smith and his attention grabbing abilities as a power hitter included Arizona State, Toledo, and Ohio State.

Smith served as the Yellow Jackets' designated hitter last season as they finished as Division I state runner-up.

Perrysburg finished 16-13 this season.

Smith also played football for three seasons, and golf for two. He decided to concentrate solely on baseball after his junior season.

“I didn't play football my senior year because I knew I wanted to play Division I baseball,” Smith said. “It wasn't a hard decision. I'm glad I chose baseball.”



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