OCH Regional Medical Center Athlete of the Week: Dee Petty

Dee Petty
Staff Writer

Starkville High School baseball coach Travis Garner is not looking forward to the day that he can't pencil in shortstop Dee Petty into the starting batting order anymore.

For the last five years, Garner has been able to count on Petty to provide strong defense and a solid bat in the lineup.

Petty has enjoyed a good stretch at the plate against good pitching and has provided the leadership Garner needs.

During a recent spring break trip to Florida, Petty and the Yellowjackets have faced Division I commitments on the mound.

“We’ve gone against a kid going to Vanderbilt and a kid going to State and one going to Ole Miss and he hit them all," Garner said. "He’s currently hitting well over .400 against some of the best pitching that we’ve probably seen since I’ve been here. We hang our hat on him and he had a really good week for us."

In doubleheader action against West Point and Gordo, Alabama, on Saturday, Petty had five hits. He had another hit in the first inning and scored the first run during Monday's 10-0 home win against Columbus.
Petty is this week's OCH/Regional Medical Center Athlete of the Week.

“I think he is the prototypical high school number two hitter," Garner said. "We’ve moved him around to the leadoff spot here or there, but we think he’s best at number two.

"He’s always going to give you good at-bats. At this level, that’s very important and he’ll give you a good at-bat whether it’s against a guy throwing 72 or a guy throwing 92. He’s a really good high school baseball player."
As SHS goes down the stretch of the season, Garner likes having senior players like Carter Bentley and Petty holding down the first two spots in the batting list.

Garner likes where he stands with about the first five or so batters that come to the plate and definitely believes Bentley and Petty anchor that.

“When you run out an All-State guy at the top spot and a guy that’s been doing it for five years in the 2 spot, one of the two is on base a lot," Garner said. "That helps.”

The Jackets played at Northwest Rankin on Tuesday night and are scheduled to host the Cougars in Class 6A, Region 3 action on Thursday night.