Indians catcher Ashton Smith signs with Lewis and Clark

(L-R) DHS assistant baseball coach Cory Robbins, Virgil Smith (grandfather, seated), Karen Smith (grandmother), DHS baseball coach Kyle Geiger, Lonnie Smith (father), Harvey Smith (uncle), Teri Sims (front, grandmother), Derek Sims (back, stepfather), Chloe Sims (sister), Steve Sims (grandfather), Karly Weller-Sims (mother), Travis Hood (hitting coach, Hit Repair), and Chris Dalton (hitting coach, Hit Repair). (Doug Daniels Photo)

By Doug Daniels

1351sports.com / duquoinsports.com

May 11, 2018

  (Du Quoin, Ill.) - On Thursday, Du Quoin senior Ashton Smith signed his letter of intent to attend and play baseball at Lewis and Clark Community College in the St. Louis Metro-East region.
  "What most stood out to me (about Lewis & Clark) was their coach (Randy Martz)," Smith said. "He was constantly messaging me, asking me to come down and hang out with the guys. It just really felt like home."
  A two-time all-conference selection as the Indians' catcher, Smith, who started on Du Quoin's Super-Sectional team as a freshman, will likely receive more awards after the current spring baseball season comes to an end. Smith was also a multiple-year starter on DHS football and basketball teams. He'll join DHS teammate Tevin Lee as a member of the Trailblazers next season.
  "Me and Tevin have played baseball together our whole lives," Smith said. "We've got a special connection, me catching and him at first. I'm hoping to throw a lot of guys out next year. They said I could come right in and start, be near the top of the lineup. There's not much more I could ask for."
  Smith is hammering the ball this season despite playing with a torn ulnar collateral ligament suffered in the final week of the football regular season last fall, which will require surgery in the offseason. You wouldn't he's playing hurt by looking at his stats, however - he's batting .500 (34-for-68), leads the team in doubles with 10, and is second in RBIs (behind Lee) with 17 through 23 games played.
  "My arm gets really fatigued," Smith said of the injury. "The throws I would make, I can't really put them where I want to. They're not bad, but they're still not what they should be. It's bothered me a little bit throughout the year. I've tried to rest it as much as possible, worked with (DHS trainer Tim Davis). It hurts, but you just have to push through it. I don't want to let anybody down."
  Smith, who will major in Criminal Justice, said his dream is "to continue my baseball career for as long as possible, get my major, and just have a fun time."
  Smith and the baseball Indians begin postseason play this upcoming week.

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