By Robert Wilson

       Brandon’s Walker Hooks – one of the top left-handed pitchers in Mississippi – didn’t pitch in the first part of last season because he was still recovering from a knee injury in football.

       But the 6-foot-4, 242-pound junior and Ole Miss commitment is back at full speed this season.

       Hooks allowed only two hits and no runs and had two walks and six strikeouts and earned the pitching win in a 9-2 victory over Oak Grove in a MHSAA Class 6A, Region 5 win at Oak Grove in Hattiesburg.

       For his outstanding performance, Hooks has been named the PriorityOne Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Baseball Player of the Week.

       Once Hooks recovered from his football injury, he had a 4-0 record with two saves, a 2.68 earned run average with 19 walks and 67 strikeouts in 49 2/3 innings and helped Brandon to a 26-8 record and the Class 6A semifinals last season.

       He has started this year like he ended last year. Hooks has a 5-2 record with a 0.56 ERA with 37 strikeouts and only four walks in 37 2/3 innings and led Brandon to a 14-5 record entering this week.

       “Walker has been really good this year for us,” Brandon coach Daniel Best said. ‘His command this season has been fun to watch. He is locked in every pitch. If doesn’t matter if Walker gives up back-to-back hits in a game, he never gets rattled, just goes right back to work. When we play solid defense behind him and give him a few runs, we feel pretty good about the outcome.”

       When Hooks isn’t pitching, he is playing first base. Hooks is hitting .250 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 13 runs batted in.

       Brandon’s next game is against Petal Thursday at 7 p.m. at Brandon.

Coaches can nominate their players by calling or texting Robert Wilson at 601.506.2276. Only players who play for teams in Hinds, Madison and Rankin Counties are eligible.