The buildup can be excruciating at times. Trey Shaffer knows this all too well.
The Biloxi High baseball standout verbally committed back in July to play at Southeastern Louisiana, but couldn’t make the pledge official just yet.
Shaffer finally made it official Wednesday, signing with the Lions during a small ceremony at the BHS baseball facility.
“It was very exciting. It was kind of the day of Christmas, sit there waiting, then finally when the day comes and you can’t wait,” Shaffer said. “The suspense was tough. You knew it was getting close when you get the (national letter of intent) in the mail.
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“I just couldn’t wait to put my signature on it and make it official. I’ve had that goal since I was a kid playing tee-ball. That’s what every kid works for. It proves that hard works gets you somewhere.”
Shaffer is a versatile signee for SLU coach and Picayune native Matt Riser.
As a junior, Shaffer hit .358 with eight stolen bases. The left-hander was pretty dominant on the mound as well, posting a 5-0 record with a 1.32 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 42 1/3 innings.
Riser said in a team release that Shaffer could work his way onto the field early as a bat and fielder and possibly make an impact as a pitcher as well.
“I think it’s a great fit for him. It’s an opportunity to go there and have a chance to play immediately. I think he’s talented enough,” BHS coach Eddie Lofton said. “With his strength gains and everything he has done just in this offseason, I think he’ll have a chance to get in there and fight for playing time, maybe even start.”
With this being his first season not playing baseball in a while, Shaffer spent more time in the weight room and has seen immediate results. In addition to getting stronger, Shaffer said he improved his 60-yard dash time from 6.7 seconds down to 6.3. Shaffer’s improved speed should help him see early playing time, if not as a starter then as a pinch runner or defensive replacement.
“I wasn’t always the fastest but I can read the ball off the bat quickly,” Shaffer said of his defensive prowess. “Now when I add the speed factor it makes me that much better.”
As a pitcher, Shaffer mixes a fastball, curveball and changeup and tops out at 89 miles per hour.
Shaffer signed with SELA over interest from South Alabama, Southern Miss, Nicholls State and Northwestern State.