“He has movement on his pitches,” said Ram baseball coach Sam Mehl. “And, he has a loopy curve.”

Mehl spoke about his ace from last year’s Shelbyville Ram baseball team, on the day graduating senior Colten Reed signed with Eureka College.

“He’s tall (6-3, 135) and he is left-handed,” Mehl continued. “He is a hard worker. He is National Honor Society. He is quiet and leads by example. He will only get stronger and throw harder once he gets on the college workout schedule. He will be tough. He locates his pitches well. He throws strikes and he’s got movement on his fast ball.”

Reed said he had committed to MacMurray College last winter, but they closed down in March.

Reed is the second Shelbyville athlete that had committed to MacMurray, then had to start their search all over again. Kyleigh Marty had committed to MacMurray Volleyball. She was able to find a home at Blackburn College.

Reed looked at Greenville College, Illinois College, and Eureka.

“I chose Eureka, because it was a good fit,” Reed said. “It works financially and I have friends going there. The campus is nice and I can pursue my major, Criminal Justice.”

Reed said it’s not too far from home, not too far he can’t come home if he wants to. He is grateful for all the support he has received from his father and mother and family. He appreciates all the coaches he has had over the years, Ram Coach Sam Mehl, and Legion coaches Tony Pullen and Troy Coleman.

Eureka baseball is currently on the uptick after a dismal decade. In 2010, Eureka’s record was 19-21. Then like Reed’s curve ball, it fell off the table.

Eureka was 11-25 in 2011 and 10-27 in 2012. They only had single-digit wins for five straight years, bottoming out in 2017 with just 6 wins. In 2018, the Red Devils got better, going 14-17-1, then 16-20 in 2019.

Early in the 2020 season, Eureka was playing over .500 ball (5-3), before losing their last 6 games prior to the COVID shutdown.

Reed could be a piece to turning the Devils around.

“They have said they are expecting high things from me,” Reed said. “They said they were looking for more lefties. They said they had seen some video on me and liked my curve ball.”

This season, the Red Devils threw just one left-handed sophomore, J.D. Thiele (6-0, 170) from Normal Community. He was 5-3 as a freshman and 3-0 this shortened sophomore year. His 2-year stats are 13 games started (8-3), 87 innings, 68 hit, 33 runs (ER 24) 23 BB, 70 K, 7.21 K/9, ERA 2.47. Reed gives the Devils another lefty.

They will be picking up right-handed pitcher Trevor Wingard from Meridian. They had seven right-handers last year, one a senior. The Devils, last year, also had another area player, Drew Thoele, a Teutopolis sophomore infielder/catcher.

Reed says his number one sport has always been baseball, even though he did play high school basketball and football. Reed started pitching in little league and continued through junior high and high school. He also played travel ball and Shelby American Legion ball in the summers.

Reed found his way onto the varsity mound as a freshman. He was a reliever as a freshman. In 22 innings, he struck out 23 and walked 9, with an ERA of 1.25.

As a sophomore, he didn’t pitch as much and was still a reliever. He struck out 7 in 7.66 innings, with an ERA of 3.66.

With no senior season, Reed’s Ram career was capped in 2019. As a junior, Reed was the ace on a Ram team that finished with a record of 21-12 in the Pana 2A Regional Championship.

Reed was named 1st Team All-CIC. Reed started 10 games and finished the season 8-1, throwing 51 innings with an ERA of just 2.20. He allowed just 16 earned runs. He struck out 60 in those 51 innings, walking 23.

Reed KO’d more than double the number he walked. He hit just 4 batters. He struck out 19 more batters than got hits. He gave up 41 hits. He KO’d 8.24 batters per 7 innings.

Though Reed will not hit in college, as a junior in high school, Reed hit over .300. He hit .298 for all three years. As a junior, he had 25 RBIs, an on-base percentage of .413 and slugged .377.

Reed was also the top fielder on the team as a junior, from the mound, 1st base, and outfield. Reed had 79 chances, scoring 68 putouts and 11 assists with zero errors.

Reed 2019 Junior

Pitching: (8-1) GS 10, CG 3, IP 51, ERA 2.20, R 29 (ER 16), H 41, BB 23, HBP 4, K 60, HR 3, WP 4, WHIP 1.25, K/7 8.24

Hitting: PA 122, AB 106, Avg .330, 1B-30, 2B-5, sac 1, R 11, RBI 25, BB 15, K 16, SB 0, CS 1, OBP .413, SLG .377

Fielding: TC 79, Ast 11, PO 68, ERR 0, PCT 1.000

2018 Sophomore

Pitching: (0-1) IP 7.66, ERA 3.66, R 12, ER 4, H 13, HBP 2, K 17, HR 1, WP 3, WHIP 2.22, K/7 6.40

Hitting: Avg .304, PA 25, AB 23, QAB 11, R 2, 7-1B, TB 7, BB 2, RBI 2, K 9, QAB .440, OBP .360, SLG .304

Fielding: PCT .893, CH 28, Ast 2, PO 23, E 3

2017 Freshman

Pitching: (1-2) GS 1, IP 22.33, ERA 1.25, R 11 (ER 4), H 15, BB 9, HBP 2, K 23, WHIP 1.07, K/7 7.21

Hitting: AVG .262, PA 50, AB 42, QAB 28, R 10, 1B-10, 2B-1, TB 12, BB 7, HBP 1, RBI 2, K 5, SB 1, .380 OBP, .286 SLG

Fielding: PCT 1.000, C 44, A 3, PO 41

John Curtis can be reached at john.curtis@shelbyvilledailyunion.com

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