SW’s Aiken commits to War Hawks

Greg Aiken won’t be goi-ng far from home when he continues his baseball car-eer in college. Aiken, a four-year starter at first base for Sweetwater who was the district MVP in his senior year, committed to play for McMurry University in Abilene after playing in a high school all-star game in Round Rock. There, he helped the North to an 8-1 win over the South all-stars at Dell Diamond, which also was home to the state high school baseball tournament in May.Aiken shared time at first base with Burkburnett’s Brady Brunson in the all-star game, which was held by the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Associa-tion. Aiken was also chosen to play in a Fellowship of Christian Athletes all-star baseball game that was held in San Angelo the same weekend, but he decided to play at Round Rock.The THSBCA also made Aiken a second-team all-state selection, one of just two players from Sweetwater’s district to earn all-state recognition. He hit .443 this past season with 34 RBIs while making just two errors at first base.McMurry baseball coach John Byington had seen Aiken in action against Snyder, and offered him a chance to play for the War Hawks. “They have a great team and their field is amazing,” Aiken said in choosing McMurry. He said he had also looked at playing for nearby Hardin-Simmons University before making his decision. Aiken said playing in the THSBCA game on June 14 was an “awesome experience.” Each player was given a commemorative watch that said “THSBCA All-Star 2014” while they were being introduced. Aik-en was introduced with his father, Trey, since it was Father’s Day weekend.Although he didn’t get a hit, Aiken did reach base by drawing a walk in three plate appearances. And he liked playing defense since “there are no bad hops. The grass is perfect there.”Looking back, Aiken said he will miss his high school teammates and coaching staff at Sweetwater. “It was a lot of fun,” he said. “It was really good the past two years going to the playoffs, and especially (in 2013) when we made it for the first time in I don’t know how long (nine years).”Aiken cited two factors to his hitting success this year. “I was probably a little more patient and used my experience,” he said. “I had to. They were throwing me a lot more outside pitches.”