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Selma U. baseball to return

Baseball will return to Selma University next year when Morehouse College of Atlanta visits on Feb. 7, new baseball coach Raymond Brown said Friday.

Selma, which discontinued the program in 1987, signed its first freshman baseball recruit Thursday with Talladega County Central’s Derrick Chatman.

Brown, the former Concordia College baseball coach, said he is excited about the new baseball program.

“We’re really excited about the challenge of building up a new team for Selma University,” he said. “We’re looking forward to bringing baseball back to this area. We have to work on a park; it will give the program more of a community atmosphere.”

Selma assistant coach Terrance Jackson said Chatman will be a better baseball player after his freshman season.

“Derrick is a freshman and like all freshman there will be an adjustment period,” Jackson said. ”We are going to give him that time to adjust, first of all conditioning, second of all making sure that he is a third baseman.”

Jackson said Chatman is a strong part of the program’s rebuilding process.

“It is going to take about a year so how much time he is going to see, I am not sure,” he said. “But he is going to be a better ball player after one year with us than he can ever imagine.”

Brown said the field is still open for any prospective Selma University baseball player.

“We are looking for high school and junior college players who want to continue their education,” Brown said, adding the university is working with transfer students now.

Signing Chatman “is just the surface of a deeper well,” he said. “We are also going after junior college players who can make an immediate impact.”

Chatman led Talladega County Central to the third round of the AHSAA playoffs for the first time in 23 years. T.C. Central head coach Robert Duncan said Chatman was clutch with runners in scoring position.

“A lot weight was put on his shoulders to drive in runs,” Duncan said. “He did a good job of coming through and I couldn’t be happier for a better kid. I am thankful for the three years I shared with him.”

Duncan said he knows Chatman can become a really good player at the next level.

“They got a good kid with a good attitude,” Duncan said. “He works hard and he is easy to coach. They got an awesome batter; he swings the bat real well. If he works on some things on defense, they really have a complete baseball player.”

(Editor’s note: The Daily Home contributed to this report.)