The Longhorns’ three-year ace has found his college home.

The Longhorns’ three-year ace has found his college home.

Lone Grove left-hander Ryan Gibson signed with Murray State College for baseball on Friday, surrounded by family and coaches in the Lone Grove High School library. Since his arrival at Lone Grove as a sophomore, Gibson has developed into one of the top players in south-central Oklahoma, leading the Longhorns from the plate and on the mound.

Gibson, the All-Ardmoreite Pitcher of the Year as a sophomore and Co-Player of Year last season as a junior, selected Murray State over Seminole State, Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa and Redlands College.

“I felt like I could be more comfortable there,” said Gibson, who will join former Lone Grove infielder Cory Sewell and several of his American Legion ball teammates on the Aggies roster. “People I know play there.

“I’m hoping if I’m good enough, I can go play Division I. I’ll go wherever I can play.”

Gibson has a chance to play multiple positions with the Aggies. He was primarily recruited as a pitcher, but MSC coach Zach Crabtree said that Gibson will be evaluated as a hitter in fall ball as well.

It’s a wise move for the Aggies. Gibson tied the Lone Grove school record with 58 runs batted in last season, in addition to going 7-1 on the mound with a 0.75 earned run average.

“We have a short porch in right field, with the wind blowing out, so we’re gonna give him the opportunity to hit in the fall,” Crabtree said. “He’s one of the top players in the area. He has good velocity and good breaking pitches.

“It’s real important that any school gets the top players in their area and he’s one of the top players in the area. We’re glad to have him.”

Gibson doesn’t care what position he plays, just that he’s getting the opportunity. Lone Grove assistant coach Jake Melton says that the competitive nature of Gibson will fit well with Murray State’s rising program.

The Aggies are 32-10 on the season, 9-1 in National Junior College Athletic Association, Division I, Region II.

“He’s really learned how to work hard and push himself in the offseason,” Melton said. “He’s really coachable and his velocity has continued to improve as he’s gotten older and worked out.

“He’s such a competitor. He wants to win and get outs, and that’s nice to have.”

Erik K. Horne