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story.lead_photo.caption RICK PECK/SPECIAL TO MCDONALD COUNTY PRESS Joseph Brown III (front, center) recently signed a letter of intent to play baseball at North Arkansas College in Harrison, Ark. Front row, left to right: Sue (mom), Kendra (sister), Joseph Brown III, Joe (dad) and Kristy (sister). Back row: MCHS coaches: Bo Bergen, Kevin Burgi and Kellen Hoover.

After having three players already sign their letters of intent to play baseball at the collegiate level next year, the McDonald County High School baseball team has had another planning to join the college ranks.

Catcher Joe Brown inked his letter of intent on Feb. 27 to play at North Arkansas College in Harrison, Ark.

"It felt good to get the signing out of the way," Brown said. "The pressure is off now. I really like the school. The school fit me and, as soon as I got the chance to sign, I did. As soon as I set foot on the campus, I felt like it was home."

Brown has been playing baseball for 16 years, including last year as the Mustangs' starting catcher.

Despite being a power hitter, Brown led the Mustangs in average last year, hitting .372 (32 for 86) with six doubles and 20 RBIs.

"This is the first year for the new coach (Eric Osner)," Brown said. "I like his plans for rebuilding the team and I want to be a part of it. Hopefully, I can be in the starting lineup as a freshman. He said I might be playing a little bit of outfield, too."

Brown will also probably see multiple positions in his final year at MCHS. Coach Kevin Burgi said Brown could throw some innings for the Mustangs.

Brown has earned first-team Big 8 All-Conference honors, all-area and the all-tournament team, the Mickey Mantle Wood Bat Classic.

Brown is ready for the 2019 high school season to get going but has conflicting feelings about it being his last year at MCHS.

"I am not ready to leave my boys," Brown said. "They all have become like family. But I am excited to get started in college. I kind of wanted to be away from home a little bit. It's not too far, but I want to see what it's like being by myself."

Burgi has high expectations for his hard-hitting catcher this year.

"We are really proud of Joe signing," Burgi said. "He is a hard worker. Obviously, you can go back and look at how much time he has spent to make himself a good hitter. When you see him hit and when you see him throw, you can see why he is a marketable college baseball player."

Brown is the son of Joe and Suzzanna Brown.

While at McDonald County, Brown played one year of basketball and two years of football. He plans to major in sports medicine at North Arkansas.

"I want to thank my coaches and my parents for pushing me to the best of my ability," Brown said.

Sports on 03/14/2019

Print Headline: Joe Brown Signs to North Arkansas

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