Chaston Tavares- West Central Sports (KVVP/KROK/KUMX)
Former Pitkin Tiger Garrett Edwards is getting set for his freshman season with the LSU Tigers. Edwards, who has more high school accolades than you could ever imagine, is expected to be one of the first few pitchers out of the LSU bullpen this season as a freshman.
Edwards was a member of the 2019 Class B State Championship team at Pitkin High School, the school's first title since 1999. During that magical 2019 championship season, Edwards went 11-1 with 80 strikeouts and a 0.46 ERA.
Edwards started the 2020 baseball season on an incredible note with an Opening-Day no-hitter against Avoyelles. Edwards and the Tigers were looking forward to defending that state title in 2020 until the LHSAA halted play due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Edwards also had a prolific basketball career at Pitkin High School finishing with 4,103 points, placing him as the No. 29 scorer in the nation. Edwards talked about the decision to choose baseball over basketball in college, "I remember back to AAU my 10th grade summer and I did not enjoy it at all and I felt like that was what college basketball was going to be like. I knew baseball was exactly what I wanted to do and that why I chose it, and I feel like I made a really good decision."
Edwards had offers from Louisiana Tech, McNeese State, Mississippi State and Northwestern State to play baseball but could not pass up a chance to play for the Tigers under head coach Paul Mainieri.
Now Edwards is ready for the next chapter in life and is set to wear the purple and gold over the next few years. Even without a senior season, LSU Head Coach Paul Mainieri spoke very highly of Edwards and has talked since day one of him being a vital role in the bullpen early in his career.
Before arriving at LSU the staff wanted Edwards to gain weight and get stronger. He was asked in a media briefing about the transition from focusing on two sports in high school to focusing solely on baseball at LSU, and his response was simple, "My body feels so much fresher. With basketball there was so much wear and tear on my body, it was a lot. I feel like sticking with baseball, I feel so much fresher and feel so much stronger." Edwards also alluded to being 180 pounds in high school and is now up to 195 pounds.
Edwards is set to play a key role in a loaded bullpen for the Tigers. Edwards reflected on being able to learn from future draft picks like Jaden Hill, Landon Marceaux, and AJ Labas, "I've learned a lot from those guys and am trying to learn as much as I possibly can because every time they take the mound their draft stock is going up."
Being a freshman playing college baseball never comes easy. Edwards looked ahead on what he has to do to prove himself each time he takes the mound, "Every time I take the mound, I just have pitch with the confidence I know I have and pitch like I am the best pitcher. I think if I bring that confidence it will help me in the long run. It also helps me a lot knowing that when I am on the mound, I have a really good defense behind me. That helps me be able to focus on each batter and be able to grind every pitch."
Edwards and the Tigers are set to open up the 2021 College Baseball season this weekend at Alex Box Stadium.
High School Accomplishments:
• 2019 Louisiana Class B Player of the Year
• Four-time 1st Team All-State selection
• Southwest Louisiana All-Decade Team
• 2019 Louisiana Class B Player of the Year (Basketball)
• Four-time 1st Team All-State selection (Basketball)
• Finished high school basketball as the 29th Career Leading Scorer in the Nation
• Southwest Louisiana MVP of the Decade (Basketball)