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Baseball: Dugouts and degrees
Four Lambert players sign scholarships
Seated, from left, Lamberts Joe Vonderschmidt, Danny Edgeworth, Brock Maxwell and Clay Crosby signed college scholarships during the early signing period for seniors. Back row, Lambert head baseball coach Jamie Corr and principal Gary Davison. - photo by Autumn Vetter

It was either play baseball or work at a grocery store for Brock Maxwell.

His father, Lambert football coach Sid Maxwell, gave his son the ultimatum during his freshman year, and Brock Maxwell chose baseball.

The decision shaped his future.

Maxwell will have a chance  to help keep the University of South Carolina a baseball powerhouse as its new right fielder, after signing his National Letter of Intent during the early signing period.

"I didn’t really want to work at Publix [or something], so baseball was an easy choice." Maxwell said. "I never thought I’d get to where I am."

The Gamecocks have a storied history in collegiate baseball. The program boasts back-to-back national championships in 2010 and 2011 and has made 11 College World Series appearances, including six times in the last decade.

"It’s a good program," Maxwell said. "It’s still surprising that I’m going to play for them."

Maxwell played center field for the Longhorns last season and put up a .461 batting average with 22 RBIs and a .590 on-base percentage. Even with those stats, Maxwell thinks he can put up better numbers.

"[I’m] just trying to get stronger; trying to get better numbers," Maxwell said.

Maxwell plans to major in sports management.

Danny Edgeworth

Lambert senior third baseman Danny Edgeworth will play for Mercer University after his senior season.

Edgeworth had a .276 batting average and 20 RBIs, while touting a .436 on-base percentage and three home runs.

"I like what they have going on [at Mercer]," Edgeworth said. "The [coaching] staff and everyone there was like a family."

Mercer wants Edgeworth to play either third base or in the outfield, either of which is fine with him.

"I know I’m going to have to go out and earn it," Edgeworth said. "I’ve got to keep working on the little things that make you better."

Edgeworth’s family was also pleased with his college decision.

"They were really excited for me," Edgeworth said. "They liked the campus and atmosphere and I’m not too far away so they can come see some of my games."

The senior aims to make his last season with the Longhorns his best.

"I’d like [to bat] over .400," Edgeworth said. "[I’m] going to go out and compete."

Edgeworth hasn’t determined what he would like to study at Mercer.

Clay Crosby

Lambert right-hander Clay Crosby has signed to play baseball for the (Div. II) University of West Georgia.

The senior’s best pitch is a fastball with speeds up to 88 miles per hour, but can also throw a slider (80 mph) and a changeup.

"I wanted to go to a bigger school with a [fraternity] and get the big school feel," Crosby said.

Crosby said his game improved the most when he played summer ball.

"When you play high school [baseball], you’re playing against local guys, but the competition is better in the summer league," Crosby said. "Those are the best players. I saw a huge jump [in my abilities] when I played."

The goal for Crosby is to simply improve each time he steps on the mound and to prepare himself for West Georgia.

"I want to be more successful every time," Crosby said. "To get playing time [as a freshman] would mean a lot."

Crosby is currently undecided on a major.

Joe Vonderschmidt

Joe Vonderschmidt will play for (Div. II) Newberry College in South Carolina following his senior year at Lambert.

The right-hander said he put much thought into his decision and felt comfortable with Newberry.

"It was something I thought about a lot," Vonderschmidt said. "They have brand new fields and I bonded with the coaches; it just felt right."

Vonderschmidt has transitioned to a low three-quarters arm slot in order to achieve more movement on his pitches. His best pitch is a fastball that tops out at 88 miles per hour, while his strikeout-pitch is the changeup.

The senior is eager to start when he arrives at Newberry, but understands if he has to wait his turn.

"I’ll do whatever is best for the team," Vonderschmidt said. "I want to start, but it’ll just be up to the coach. …I’m going to prepare and develop more of a curveball and get stronger in the weight room."

Vonderschmidt plans to major in business management.