Henry to continue playing ball; signs with Pensacola Pelicans

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The baseball highway won’t end for Lee Henry with the conclusion of his supremely successful 2010 season at Tennessee Tech University. The senior out of Knoxville, Tenn. has recently signed with the Pensacola Pelicans of the American Association, one of the elite pro-ball leagues in the country.

“I don’t know what the future holds,” Henry admitted. “I’m just going to ride this baseball out, see what the Lord has in store, try my best and see what happens.”

En route to helping Tennessee Tech to its seventh OVC regular season championship as the OVC Pitcher of the Year, Henry was dominant on the mound, finishing his season leading the OVC in ERA (2.69, a full 0.94 points better than second place) and opponent batting average (.224) while ranking second in strikeouts with 85, strikeouts per nine innings (9.52) and complete games (4).

In 16 total appearances (12 starts), Henry compiled a 7-3 record and struck out 85 batters while only issuing 37 walks. He tossed a three-hit, seven-inning shutout against Eastern Illinois, striking out nine, and was named OVC Pitcher of the Week for his performance.

Henry earned the six wins and no losses over his last seven appearances, all against Ohio Valley Conference opponents, maintaining an ERA of 2.42 and logging 48 strikeouts. In 44.2 innings pitched, he allowed only 14 runs, 12 of them earned, on 33 hits – only nine of which were for extra bases.

His premier performance came in game one on Thursday night of the OVC Championship Tournament with a late start against Eastern Kentucky University that turned into a nine inning complete game for Henry. He hurled his first of 160 total pitches at 9:58 pm after the start time was delayed nearly three hours. Henry allowed two earned runs on five hits and four walks, striking out eight to earn the 7-4 win over EKU at 12:48 am on Friday morning.

Henry, one of the Golden Eagle team captains, became the second pitcher in Tech history to be named OVC Pitcher of the Year since the award was first handed out in 1992 for his efforts in the 2010 season. Mark Maberry in 1997 was the other. He was also named second-team CoSIDA Academic All-District and to the 2010 OVC All-Tournament team.

“Lee is an ultra-competitor,” emphasized head coach Matt Bragga. “He knows how to win, he finds a way to win, and he’s an unbelievably high character guy, a real class act.”

During his first outing with the Pelicans on June 13, Henry pitched 1 2/3 innings, allowing one hit and one walk.