Memorial graduate Granados headed west to Southwest

Published 2:50 pm Saturday, August 12, 2017

Jessie Riojas had to assure Carlos Granados through the summer he was helping him land at a college baseball program.
“I was trying to brainstorm and find the perfect place for him,” said Riojas, who coached Granados at Port Arthur Memorial and the Southeast Texas Blue Jays. “For a moment, he thought I had forgotten about him because he’s the last guy who got signed off the Blue Jays team and he’s the only senior from Memorial who’s signed.”
Nine days after fellow Jays Braxton Boudoin and Brandon Morse realized their college dreams, Granados signed his letter of intent with New Mexico-based University of the Southwest on Friday.
“Just to get out of here and play as much baseball as I can,” Granados said. “I get to further my career, academics and baseball-wise.”
Had the scholarship not come, Granados said he likely would have just enrolled at Lamar State College Port Arthur to take some basic classes. Now, he’ll take off Thursday for Hobbs, New Mexico, well ahead of time to report to campus.
Riojas recalled how Granados first broke into the Memorial starting lineup as a sophomore who just moved up from the junior varsity.
“We needed him to come in during district,” Riojas said. “He took advantage of his opportunity and never came out of the lineup. It was against Channelview. He made several plays, made a few hits and never came out.”
In 2017 Granados hit .364 with seven doubles and drove in 25 runs at Memorial, where he was utility standout. He went 4-2 as a pitcher and posted a 4.96 ERA, striking out 28 in 31 innings.
Southwest coach Steve Appel, Riojas said, needed a utility player and Riojas — who had already helped Nederland’s Kody Kolb land at Southwest — recommended Granados during a phone call.
“I’ve been blessed to develop many good relationships with college coaches, and I felt this would be the perfect place for Carlos,” Riojas said. “I called Carlos and his parents and we talked about it, and — boom! — everything fell in place.”
Southwest competes in the NAIA’s Red River Athletic Conference, which includes Texas universities St. Thomas, Houston-Victoria, Huston-Tillotson, Our Lady of the Lake, Paul Quinn College, Texas A&M-Texarkana, Texas College and Wiley College.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

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About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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