Viking pitcher signs with Liberty University

St. Johns River State College pitcher Matt Pennington has signed a National Letter of Intent with Liberty University in Virginia. Pennington pitched in 16 games and made 5 starts for the Vikings last spring. In 33 innings, he had a 2.7 ERA and had 2 wins and 3 losses with 2 saves. Pennington was also named SJR State's Male Student-Athlete of the Year for the 2011-2012 academic year.

Ross Jones, SJR State head baseball coach and athletic director said, "We are so proud of Matt. He put himself in a position to be highly successful because of his character and work ethic. He is also one of the most complete, well-rounded young men I have ever coached. He's dedicated to being a great student as well as a baseball player," Jones said. "His 4.0 GPA is a reflection of his commitment to succeed as a college student."

Pennington, a National Merit Scholar, will return to the mound for the Vikings this spring and will ultimately further his education in religion and biblical studies at Liberty University in August.

Pennington, a native of Live Oak, said signing with the Liberty Flames was a blessing as well as a great opportunity to continue his passion for both athletics and the ministry. "I thank God for the opportunity to play for two more years," he said. "I also would like to thank Coach Jones, Coach Boss and Coach Coggin for all of their hard work with the Liberty University coaches."

PHOTO CAPTION: Viking pitcher Matt Pennington signs a National Letter of Intent with Liberty University.
First row, from left: Steve Pennington, Matt Pennington, Paula Pennington. Second row, SJR State head baseball coach Ross Jones, assistant coach Tommy Boss and SJR State President Joe Pickens.