ROCKINGHAM – For the second time in as many weeks, a Richmond Senior High School athlete has signed a national letter of intent to play at the college level. This time it was baseball player Jonathan Lee.
Lee has been playing baseball his whole life, so it’s no wonder that when he became a Richmond Raider, that passion would continue on the field. It’s the next step that had him excited Monday morning, when he signed his national letter of intent to become a member of the University of North Carolina Pembroke’s team.
RSHS Athletic Director and head Raider baseball coach Ricky Young said Lee is one of the leaders of the team and also one of its best players. Once again, Lee is slated to be the Raiders number one pitcher and hit in the middle of the lineup come spring, Young noted.
But Lee knows that as a senior, it’s his job to lead.
“I want to be a good example for the other guys,” Lee said. “Be strong for them and do the best I can do.”
During his junior year, Lee had a 2-3 record on the hill with a 1.32 ERA in nine appearances. In his 37 innings pitched, he racked up 49 strikeouts and only allowed seven earned runs.
Offensively, Lee batted .266 in 26 games with 21 hits and 19 RBIs. He also hit the Raiders’ only two home runs on the season.
The senior said he chose UNCP because of the close proximity to Richmond County and because he simply liked the school. The Braves having an excellent baseball program doesn’t hurt either, and Young agreed.
“I just told him to go somewhere that would make him happy,” Young said. “A lot of kids get caught up in trying to go to a school that they think others want them to go to, trying to make that splash. My advice is always to try and find somewhere where you can go and play and contribute early and look for schools that want you.
“They’re giving him an opportunity to be a two-way player, which is rare in college,” Young continued. “But it’s a very good program, so I think it’s a great fit for him.”
But it’s first things first, however, as the Raiders begin preparing for the upcoming season, and Lee feels strongly about what he and the Raiders are capable of accomplishing.
“We’re going try to make it as far as we can,” Lee said. “And try to go for it all and win a (state) championship.”