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W.Va. top recruit Hussey ready for baseball

Parkersburg South’s Grant Hussey takes an at-bat during a game in 2019 at Hank Greenburg Field. Hussey enters this season as the top recruit in the state after last season was canceled due to COVID restrictions. File Photo

PARKERSBURG — West Virginia University commit and Parkersburg South senior first baseman Grant Hussey is more than ready to get back on the diamond for Patriot head coach Matt Emerick inside the spacious confines of Hank Greenburg Field.

“In January I went down to Florida for the Perfect Game World Showcase and I think I played three games down there,” Hussey said of the last time he actually played competitively. “It was nice just to go down there and play. I’ll take it whenever I can get it.”

Of course, baseball teams in the Mountain State were unable to play last spring. Despite missing his junior prep campaign, not a lot else changed for the top prospect in the Mountain State.

“It was pretty much exactly the same. There was really no cancellations whatsoever,” Hussey said of playing travel ball with the Dirtbags Skrap Pak out of North Carolina last summer. “I was pretty much all over the country playing every weekend that was nice after sitting in the house for two months.

“Our team had 25 kids on it and there were 25 Division I commits. Every single kid was committed to DI schools. It’s fun to be around those guys and the culture and that level of baseball.”

For now, he’s just ready for practice to begin next month.

“It’s honestly pretty close to a normal schedule. We’re just kind of cramming everything in this year,” said the 6-foot-3 lefty. “We play every day pretty much.

“The first couple weeks it’s like 12 games in 14 days and we’ll have rainouts and this and that. I think it was 27 or 28 games scheduled.”

Coach Emerick plans to utilize Hussey a little bit from the pitching rubber this spring.

“We got a really good group of seniors,” said the coach. “I started with them as well the same time in sixth grade. Good group of kids and good ball players. Excited for the season. I expect Grant to have a good year.

“I didn’t get to see much of him last spring, but I know he had a great summer. He’s a good teammate and a good player and he’ll definitely help us out a lot this year. We expect him to play pretty much everywhere and do everything.”

Following his final prep campaign, Hussey was expecting to head to the Futures Collegiate Baseball League in Massachusetts this summer, but that plan has changed.

“Now, I have the opportunity to play in the MLB Draft League,” Hussey said of being a member of the Morgantown-based Black Bears. “It came about right at Christmas time. I got a text asking me to play. It was kind of a no-brainer to play for them. It’s the top eligible draft prospects between college and high school.

“It’s like 68 games over the summer, playing every day, playing Power 5 guys from all over the country pretty much. It will be pretty much me and a bunch of college juniors and seniors. It will definitely be an adjustment, but I’m looking forward to it. It will just be awesome being able to be up there and play all summer on WVU’s field. You can’t really beat it.”

Hussey, who could play some corner outfield while with the Mountaineers, is known for his max barrel speed, impact momentum and exit velocity off the bat. Prep Baseball Report said he had a 99 mph bat exit velocity with a wood bat during a W.Va. preseason all-state showcase event.

“Honestly, I like wood. I think you have to be a better hitter to hit with wood,” Hussey added. “Not necessarily a better hitter, but you can’t get away with some stuff you get with metal bats.

“They are just more fun to use. That’s baseball and how it was made and the true form of baseball.”

Despite having a Division I scholarship to play for WVU and head coach Randy Mazey, Hussey isn’t ready to rush his final year at PSHS.

“Yeah, I think they are all too,” Hussey said of he and his teammates being anxious to start the season. “We got a big group of seniors this year. We’ve been playing baseball together our whole lives. It’s kind of like the one final show for us. I think we got a shot this year with just our experience-wise.

“It’s fun to look ahead in the future with that stuff always, but when the time comes I’ll have to wait. I’m anxious for high school ball. I think we’ll have a really good year and if the weather stays like this it’s going to be perfect. I’m really anxious to get started and have a good time my senior year.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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