Oxford baseball gets stronger with Kessinger
Oxford High’s baseball program has been one of the most consistent programs in North Mississippi the past decade. The Chargers had yet another successful season, advancing to the Class 5A North Half title series. The chances of them returning to that spot, and advancing, only increased with the addition of Grae Kessinger.
Kessinger, the son of former Ole Miss baseball player Kevin Kessinger and grandson of former Ole MIss baseball coach Don Kessinger, has enrolled at Oxford. He comes to the Chargers as a rising junior and having a stellar career at Center Hill.
The 6-foot-2, 175-pound Ole MIss verbal pledge is a shortstop and pitcher. He pitched against the Chargers during last season’s spring break tournament. In 16 games last year, Kessinger hit .395 with two home runs, six doubles and 12 RBIs. One of his home runs came at Edwin Moak Field. Kessinger was also 7-for-8 in stolen bases and he was 4-1 with a 2.07 ERA on the mound. He joins two other talented rising juniors, Houston Roth and Jason Barber, in the rotation on a team that returns a handful of starters from 2014.
Oxford coach Chris Baughman said that Kessinger officially enrolled in school on Monday. He was made aware about the move a couple of weeks ago, and he said his players, which include his cousin, were excited about him joining the team.
“He hasn’t played with this bunch since he was 5 in coach-pitch. He was then in Memphis and at Center Hill. It’s great to have him,” Baughman said. “He will have to come in and earn a spot because I don’t like to say that somebody is just going to start, but he’s going to play for us. He’s already coming in and working out with the team. We’re definitely looking for him to help us out at shortstop.”
Baughman added that Kessinger was everything he was pegged to be when his Chargers faced him last year.
“He’s a stud. He was All-State as a freshman and he was All-State last year and he only played half of the year because of his back injury. He had a stress fracture in his back,” Baughman said. “He’s just now coming off that and starting to play summer ball for Dulin’s again this week. He’s trying to work his way back slowly. He’s playing in the Under Armour All-American game in Florida over the next few weeks. He is definitely an impact player.”
For more on Kessinger, see Friday’s print edition of the Citizen.