PERKINSTON — Mississippi Gulf Coast's Dylan Mills-Derouen and Sam Taylor have signed to continue their baseball careers at the next level.
Mills-Derouen, a 5-10 left-handed pitcher from Biloxi, signed a letter of intent to play at West Florida. He went 5-3 as a freshman with a 3.67 ERA coming off arm surgery and threw a no-hitter against East Central.
He said he's gotten better in one important area at Gulf Coast.
"Discipline," Mills-Derouen said. "It's been a blessing playing here. It's a home feeling here. Coach Batts and the coaches are great."
Mills-Derouen struck out 56 batters in 61.1 innings. Gulf Coast coach Rodney Batts said lefties who can bring it up 90 mph are in high demand.
"He's got what everybody wants," Batts said. "He's a three-pitch guy. He can be a velocity guy if he needs to be. When he gets on the mound, he's going to compete. He's a Bulldog on the mound."
West Florida, coached by Mike Jeffcoat, went 36-17 last season, winning the Gulf South Conference regular-season title. The Argos advanced to the NCAA South Regional, marking the fifth time in seven seasons they qualified for the NCAA tournament.
"It's a beautiful campus," Mills-Derouen said. "It just felt right and I enjoyed the coaches. It's a great atmosphere."
Taylor, a 5-10 infielder from New Hope, will play at Northwestern State in Louisiana. He batted .293 with 13 RBI last year.
"I thought I had good work ethic in high school," Taylor said, "but being under Coach Batts for so long, I definitely learned what real work ethic is. You can't take a rep off it you want to be great."
Taylor had a pair of four-hit games last year among nine multi-hit outings. He was a true shortstop coming out of high school, but played third and second for Gulf Coast last year.
"He's gotten bigger and stronger, which has helped him defensively, but more so offensively," Batts said. "He's a different hitter than he was last year at this time."
Northwestern, coached by Bobby Barbier, went 33-24 last season and finished third in the Southland Conference.
"I thought it was the best fit for me," Taylor said. "The coaches really made me feel at home when I visited. I feel like I'm going to be able to go in there and play right away."
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