Catholic High of New Iberia senior J.T. Migues never gave a serious thought to the prospect of pitching in college.
Migues didn’t believe he fit the prototypical mold of a college pitcher, standing 5-foot-9 and weighing 160 pounds, until Louisiana Tech changed all that this week.
Migues, who was scouted during a summer showcase tournament in Alexandria, parlayed a strong performance, where the radar gun and not his size told a different story.
Louisiana Tech was one of four schools in attendance during a strong relief appearance with his New Iberia Legends travel team, striking out eight over three innings and allowing one hit.
Migues was clocked between 88-91 mph — a jump of three miles mph from his school season — which led to an unofficial visit to Louisiana Tech on Tuesday. That resulted in a scholarship offer and subsequent commitment on the trip.
“I always thought I was too small to play college baseball,” Migues said. “I didn’t think it was possible until this year. I kept working hard and got what I wanted.”
Migues selected Louisiana Tech over an offer from McNeese State, which he visited last week. He also received interest from Tulane and Southeastern Louisiana.
The Bulldogs, under first-year coach Greg Goff, finished 25-27.
“When I got the offer, I knew that was it,” Migues said. “I was hoping it was a good one (offer), because I knew right away I loved the school. The coaches were awesome. I had to think about it and talk with my parents, but I knew that was the place for me.”
Migues went 4-2 with a 1.60 ERA, earning first-team All-District 5-2A honors as a utility player. He also batted .320 in district while playing third base.
Catholic High went 15-12 and was the league runner-up to Opelousas Catholic, falling to Doyle in the Class 2A state regionals.
The year before, Migues helped the Panthers reach the Class 2A state championship game with a semifinal victory over Opelousas Catholic.
While there wasn’t much recruiting talk after the high school season, Migues joined the Legends for his first summer and relished the team’s exposure at showcase events such as the tournament at LSU-Alexandria and the summer finale at the Southeast Showcase at Northwestern State.
“Things really took off this summer,” Migues said. “I was able to pick up my velocity by working with our pitching coach and doing a lot of back exercises. This is a showcase team, and that’s what it’s for.
“It makes you more comfortable because you’re basically playing with players that are just as good or better than you,” Migues said. “I loved it. When you’re surrounded by players like that, it makes you want to do better.”
Louisiana Tech pitching coach Rick McCarty represented one of four schools in attendance during Migues’ sterling relief effort in Alexandria. Migues said his fastball topped out at 91 mph, while his curveball registered 75-77 mph.
Migues immediately jumped on Tech’s radar and was in communication with their coaching staff on his ride home after the game, while talking with Tulane the next day.
Nearly two weeks later, Migues found himself impressed on his visit to Tech’s campus, and the warmth of its coaches allowed him to sew up his recruiting process before returning home.
“They have a great program, and the coaches are awesome,” Migues said. “I loved everything about it. There was so much pressure before I committed. I was losing sleep over it. After I committed, it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders.”