PriorityOne Bank Baseball Player of the Week – 3-31

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By Robert Wilson
Pictures of Jared Thomas

Southern Miss baseball coach Scott Berry would like to use Northwest Rankin’s Nick Monistere as a two-way player when he arrives in Hattiesburg next season.

What the senior right-handed shortstop pitcher did on Saturday against Rankin County rival Brandon bolstered his opinion.

Monistere, a Southern Miss signee, threw two hits, struck out nine and allowed an earned run in 5 2/3 innings and had two doubles and a triple, scored a run and had two RBIs to lead Northwest Rankin to a 10-2 win over Brandon in an MHSAA Class 6A out-of-region game at Northwest Rankin in Flowood.

For his outstanding performance, Monistere was named the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Metro Jackson Scoreboard Baseball Player of the Week.

Monistere — a member of the Metro Jackson Preseason Elite 11 team on the Priority One Bank/Mississippi scorecard — had a great senior season and led Northwest Rankin to a 16-2 record. He is 5-1, a 2.33 ERA with 37 strikeouts and 11 walks in 27 innings and is hitting .360 with 4 doubles, 1 triple, 3 homers, 15 runs scored and 11 runs. products.

By Jared Thomas

“Nick was dominant on the mound against Brandon,” Northwest Rankin coach KK Aldridge said. “He worked really hard to develop his off-speed throws in the offseason, which made him an even more complete thrower. Now batters don’t just have to worry about his speed, but they also try not to be fooled by his off-speed pitches.

“Nick also led our team with three hits and his triple RBI allowed us to create some separation and was able to put the game away in the latter innings. Nick is just starting to warm up offensively. He sees very few pitches to hit because teams are very careful about how they throw to him. Sometimes this tends to make a batter impatient and try to do too much. Nick struggled with that earlier this year, but now he’s taking a great approach at home plate. If they throw around him, he knows it’s just an opportunity for him to get on base and in scoring position for (senior receiver) Brady Thomas to come drive him. Nick is about as selfless as they come, which makes him such an excellent leader for our team. He is a great player with a very bright future. I’m sure he’s grateful he’s on our side. Nick is the kind of guy you want to fight with.

Monistere was 11-1 with a 1.88 ERA and had 97 strikeouts and 21 walks in 70 2/3 innings and helped Northwest Rankin to a 27-9 record and a second-place finish in the MHSAA class 6A last season as a junior. It was the first appearance in the state championship since 2005. He was a first-team selection for the Priority One Bank Metro Jackson team. Monistere also hit .384 with 32 runs, 30 RBIs, 11 doubles, 1 triple, 5 home runs and a .666 hitting percentage.

Northwest Rankin’s next game is Thursday in a Class 6A non-regional game in Germantown. The Cougars host Rankin County rival Pearl Friday in a 6A, Region 6 game at Northwest Rankin.

Coaches can nominate their players for the weekly award by contacting Robert Wilson via text or phone (601.506.2276) or email ([email protected]).

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