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Mundy signs to play baseball at Vandy

Nov. 14, 2013 @ 12:35 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Huntington High's Joey Mundy wore a Vanderbilt sweatshirt to school Wednesday. He didn't throw it on in the morning just to battle the cold as he headed to school. It would be the appropriate attire for a certain signing ceremony that afternoon in the school library.

Mundy, a Class AAA All-State shortstop for the Highlanders, signed a letter-of-intent to play baseball for Vanderbilt, home of the Southeastern Conference and national power Commodores.

Family, baseball teammates, friends and students watched the ceremony with cell phones and tablets recording the big event. There was a big Vanderbilt banner present and they signed that as well. Congratulations Joey was the theme.

"I've got a big adjustment to make," Mundy said about playing at the next level.

Mundy got a hint of what he'll face during the summer when he played in the wooden-bat Central Florida Baseball League.

Vanderbilt finished 54-12 in 2013. The Commodores, at times ranked No. 1 in the college polls, won the SEC regular season (26-3, single-season record for wins), lost to LSU in the SEC Tournament title game and won the NCAA Regional at their home field in Nashville. Louisville knocked them out in the Super Regional, also played at Vandy's Hawkins Field.

Vanderbilt is ranked No. 1 in the NCAA preseason poll for the 2014 season. Mundy is part of a talented recruiting class for the Commodores.

"Facilities, a great coaching staff and name," Mundy said in explaining why Vanderbilt won out. Vandy started recruiting Mundy last season. Hawkins Field is all-artificial turf, has a Green Monster and seats 3,700.

Mundy said he's projected to play either first base, third base or corners (left/right) in the outfield.

"It's a big step," Mundy said. "Everybody's so consistent, so fast regardless of position. I've got to get used to that."

Vanderbilt has a strong academic reputation. It's no secret Mundy would like to get a shot at Major League Baseball, but he knows a Vanderbilt degree can open many business doors. He's not decided on a major.

Mundy now can pay full attention to his senior season for the Highlanders. The shortstop hit .515 last season with 17 doubles, 12 stolen bases and 31 RBIs. In 109 at-bats, he struck out just three times.

"It's good to get this off my chest," he said. "I don't have to worry about where I might go. The team is what's important. We want to as far as we can this season. We want to win a (state) championship."

Huntington High coach Danny Harbert said Mundy's work ethic on and off the field made signing with Vanderbilt possible.

"He can play at the next level," Harbert said. "He has a great attitude. He leads by example. He puts in the time and does the work whether it's the classroom, community or athletics. If you want to play baseball at the next level you can follow the lead of Joey."

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