TODAY'S SPORTS

Luray ace Logan Morrison finds ‘right fit’ at Concord




When Logan Morrison decided to commit to Concord University's Division II baseball program in December, he faced an interrogation from his father, Greg.

Morrison had narrowed his choices to Concord and Shenandoah, which is the top-ranked Division III team in the country and is located just an hour away from Luray.

"I questioned him a little bit more just to make sure he was thinking along the right road, and he had good answers for everything," Greg Morrison said with a smile. "I told him, 'It's not really a matter of where I want you to go. You've got to be happy and if you're going to be happy there, then we'll support you.'"

Happiness was all over Logan Morrison's face Friday afternoon at Luray High School, where the senior was recognized for his commitment to Concord.

"I never really imagined it, but, I mean, I hoped for it. I dreamed of it," Morrison said of the opportunity to play college baseball. "I've been playing since I was 5 years old. It's just been a heck of a ride, I guess."

The standout pitcher and third baseman said he'll be a preferred walk-on with the Mountain Lions, although he's earned scholarships for his academic success at LHS — which includes being the fifth-ranked senior in the class, according to athletic director Don Ehlers' introduction to Friday's ceremony.

Morrison also considered D-I Longwood and D-III Bridgewater, he said, but his visit to Concord, which is located roughly three and a half hours away from Luray in Athens, W.Va., in November sold him.

He was already familiar with a pair of Mountain Lions — former Turner Ashby standout Trent Abernathy and ex-Spotswood pitcher Tucker Garrison, who are both freshman pitchers at Concord — from working out together at Next Level Athletic Development in Harrisonburg.

"Everyone was really open to me," said Morrison, an aspiring physical therapist. "I met the whole team. It just felt like the right fit for me.

"It just seemed like a family, and it feels a lot like it does here."

Greg Morrison, who is an unofficial assistant coach at Luray, called Friday a "culmination of a lot of work" — by both his son and his family.

The Morrisons, Greg said, gave done "everything we can" to help their son chase the chance of playing college baseball, and it was always worth it because of how motivated Logan has been in his pursuit.

"It's nice to be able to see him want to keep going and not give up on that dream of playing at the next level," said Greg Morrison — who, like his wife and Logan's mother, Melissa Morrison, is a West Virginia native and Marshall University graduate. "I kind of gave up on mine, and regretted it years after because I never was really finished with the game. But to see him want to take that chance and want to put himself out there and realize that he's going to have to start over and work his way back up, it's great to see. I'm proud of him. Proud of him in every way."

Concord is 20-19 so far this baseball season, including a 13-9 mark in Mountain East Conference play, and despite its young roster is an "up-and-coming" program, second-year Luray coach Zach Leake said.

Morrison expects to be primarily a pitcher to begin his Mountain Lions career, although he could earn some at-bats as a third baseman later on.

And he's quite content with that plan.

"I mean, I'm just happy to play," Morrison said.

Leake isn't so willing to lose the senior just yet.

The right-hander, who boasts what his father called a "sweet" swing from the left side of the plate, was a 1A second-team all-state selection a year ago, when he set Luray's single-season program record for strikeouts with 96 — breaking a mark that was previously held by current Spotswood coach Marcus Davis.

This season for the Bulldogs (5-7), Morrison is 3-3 with one save, a 1.35 earned-run average, and just seven walks compared to 54 strikeouts in 31 innings. At the plate, he's hitting .484 with three home runs — tying his mark from 2016 — and 15 RBIs.

On April 4, the hurler with a mid-80s fastball threw a 14-strikeout no-hitter with no walks against Wilson Memorial, and on the eve of his commitment ceremony last week he slugged a grand slam and threw a one-hitter to beat Stonewall Jackson.

"He's clicking. Just my personal opinion: I think he's the best player in the district that we have," Leake said. "He gets it. He understands the game. That's the big part. The work ethic, all those things — he deserves everything he gets."

Leake pointed to Morrison's Saturday routine — hitting three buckets of baseballs on his own in the afternoon, hours after the Bulldogs' team practice — as an example of the senior's work ethic.

Morrison recalled that he was in eighth grade when he decided to zero in on his baseball career and see how far he could go in the sport.

"It was, 'OK, we'll do everything we can to let you go as far as you want to go,'" Greg Morrison said, "and it's never really stopped — which is why this is kind of like just another step."



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