Former Providence Christian and current Pensacola State College pitcher David Warren has signed to continue his career at the University of Memphis.
“It felt awesome,” Warren said of sending in the paper work. “It was really just a burden lifted off of me.”
Before going to Memphis next fall, Warren is in his second year on the junior college level at Pensacola State after a tremendous career at Providence in which he helped the Eagles to the Class 3A state title in 2019.
After coronavirus pandemic caused a shutdown of baseball last spring, Warren knew the chances of being seen by four-year college coaches would be that much more difficult.
Memphis head coach Daron Schoenrock became familiar with Warren through a friend in Dothan and the interest grew after receiving some game film.
“They had contacted me in September and really the main factor was the coaches,” Warren said of his decision. “I fell in love with everything they preached and talked about with pitching and doing everything to help me to get better.”
Not being able to take any official recruiting visits due to COVID-19 restrictions, Warren and his family made a trip to Memphis on their own.
“About two weeks before Christmas me and my family went up there and visited,” Warren said. “We walked around campus, looked at the field and everything like that. That was big for us to be able to go up there and do that.
“Of course, we didn’t get to meet with the coaches, but it was a big thing being able to go up there and see for myself and for my parents to know where I was going. Whenever I went up there it was just awesome.”
When he ultimately committed to Memphis, Warren felt much more at ease.
“Really and truly through the whole fall with us practicing and scrimmaging against ourselves – I wouldn’t say it was stressful, but I would say it was definitely something that was hanging over my head,” Warren said of making a decision going forward.
“It was a big thing to be able to go ahead and find my next home of where I was going to go after this year. I can really focus on the here and now about what I’m supposed to be doing here at Pensacola and take care of business here.”
Warren was off to a terrific start last season before it was cut short. He had a 5-0 record in seven starts with a 1.02 earned run average.
“I give a lot of props to the coaches down here,” Warren said. “Definitely coming in during the fall last year and being new, I felt like I had to not really prove something, but just kind of show that I can throw here.
“Once I kind of got that off my back, it was just settling in and being able to throw strikes and let them hit the ball and let me defense work.”
So far this year, Warren has a 1-1 record in three starts with 14 strikeouts and a 3.29 ERA. Pensacola State is 4-5 in the early season.
“I have just been fine-tuning everything,” Warren said. “Being able to locate more with pitches; being able to throw three pitches for strikes. Just trying to get better every day and staying in control of things.
“Really it’s just been good for us to get back in the routine and playing games against outside competition and not just ourselves like it was all fall.”
Jon Johnson is sports editor of the Dothan Eagle and can be reached at email@example.com or 334.712.7965. Support his work and that of other Eagle journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today at dothaneagle.com. Follow Jon Johnson on Twitter @eaglesportsed