The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

High School Sports

April 6, 2012

Purdy's Stevenson signs to play baseball at Saint Mary

Purdy High School’s Reese Stevenson, who was a Class 2 all-state infielder as a junior, has signed with the University of Saint Mary to continue his baseball career.

Stevenson, a shortstop-pitcher for the Eagles, indicated there were several reasons why he selected NAIA Saint Mary of Leavenworth, Kan.

No. 1, perhaps, was finding out on a visit to Saint Mary that he really liked its coach, Rob Miller.

Miller, also the Spires’ athletic director, and Purdy coach Joshua Hughes are good friends.

Plus, Stevenson has a friend, Riley Veith, a Purdy all-stater last season, already attending Saint Mary.

The 5-foot-9, 160-pound Stevenson, a left-handed batter, is a four-year regular for the Eagles and has helped them open 7-2 this season.

Stevenson, who said that shortstop was his favorite position, moved into the leadoff slot as a junior for Ozark 7 Conference champion Purdy (22-5 overall and a sectional participant in the playoffs).

“Reese isn’t a typical leadoff hitter in that he doesn’t take a lot of pitches,” Hughes said. “He’ll swing at the first pitch he likes. We don’t mind that because he really drives the ball. He also is a smart runner.

“Reese (a right-hander) and Cameron Terry (a junior left-hander) probably share our No. 1 tag on the mound,” Hughes said. “They give us a chance to win each time out.”

Stevenson averaged .461 as a junior on 41 of 89. He also had 15 doubles, three home runs, 33 runs scored, 15 walks, 29 RBI and a .550 on-base percentage.

Veith topped most of the offensive categories that Stevenson didn’t, Hughes said.

Reese, who plans to major in criminal justice, is the son of Stacy and Robert Stevenson.

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High School Sports