McKenzie is only 14-years-old and Aug. 12 was his first day of high school. McKenzie is a natural athlete. He excelled in football, basketball and baseball when his family lived in Alabama.

PACE — Last year Jackson McKenzie grew from 5 feet 9 inches to the height of 6 feet 2 inches and made a verbal commitment to Mississippi State University to play baseball. His next step in his goal is to make the Pace Patriots varsity baseball team.

McKenzie is only 14-years-old and Aug. 12 was his first day of high school. McKenzie is a natural athlete. He excelled in football, basketball and baseball when his family lived in Alabama.

McKenzie plays a lot of travel baseball across the country and that is where his notoriety with college scouts started.

"I really like MSU's baseball facilities and program," McKenzie said. "Because of NCAA rules I can't sign with anyone until my senior year in high school, but I can make a verbal commitment."

McKenzie's father, Brooks, said his son grew quickly last year and got stronger. McKenzie weighs 180 pounds and can throw consistently at 84 mph.

That is no surprise if you look at his lineage. His mother, Amy, pitched for the University of Alabama, his grandfather pitched for the University of Miami, his two older brothers, Andy and Matt, pitched at the collegiate level. McKenzie's 13-year-old sister Shelby is a softball pitcher.

"Whatever Jackson's future holds as far as baseball goes, we just tell him that as long as he does things the right way, trains hard and above all else is a great person then you will never have regrets on where life takes you," Brooks said.

McKenzie said the biggest day of his life was when he made the verbal commitment to MSU, July 2, 2019. He also said it was time for him to get serious.

McKenzie has decided not to play any other sport except baseball. By that, he means not even pick-up games or messing around on a boring day. McKenzie said there is always a chance for injury and he does not want to risk not being able to play the sport he loves.

McKenzie has met most of the players he competes with and against as most of them play travel baseball. His family now lives in Pace and McKenzie is anxiously awaiting the start of the season.

"I'm going to work hard, super hard, playing tournaments and travel ball. Pace has a very good program," McKenzie said.