On May 7 of last year, Tipton-Rosemark really needed a win against Northpoint Christian in a region semifinal game.

Coach Brad Smith asked junior lefty Jacob Dodson to go get the Rebels a victory and that’s exactly what he did.

Dodson struck out five, did not allow an earned run and scattered eight hits over seven innings to lead the Rebels to an 8-2 win and into the region title game.

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“He showed me something that day,” Smith said. “He really put himself on another level in my mind.”

“I just remember it was a big game for us,” Dodson said. “We needed a win to get to the championship game. I was basically locked in, just throwing strikes. I was just feeling good that game. It was one of my better games in high school.”

The coaching staff at Southwest Tennessee Community College noticed the lefty’s improvement as well and continued recruiting him.

Last Saturday Dodson committed to Southwest on Twitter.

“First of all, I want to thank God for blessing me with the ability to play baseball at the next level,” Dodson, now a senior at TRA, wrote. “I also would like to thank everyone that has invested time in me as a player from family, friends, coaches and teammates. I’m very grateful to be continuing my baseball career at Southwest Tennessee Community College. All glory to God.”

Dodson has been a member of the TRA baseball team since he was an eighth-grader and has improved each season.

“He has matured, physically and mentally, as much as anybody I’ve coached,” Smith said.

Dodson pitched just one game in 2020 before the season was cancelled, and it was a good one. He struck out five and allowed just one hit over five innings in a win against First Assembly Christian School.

“I think his best days are ahead of him,” Smith said. “He played first base for me for three years. I think once he gets to Southwest, and he’s not taking BP and ground balls anymore and just doing pitching work, you’re going to see a jump in his velo (velocity).”

“I’ve always thought that I would play in college and if I worked hard I could do it.” Dodson said. “During my sophomore summer, when my velo got up a little bit I started to think about it a lot more.”

Dodson is the second TRA senior to commit. Tyler Byrd announced his commitment to Northwest Mississippi Community College on April 15.

“I tell guys if the four-year (school) opportunities are not what you desire, realistically, go juco and you can get to where you want to get after that.”