By BY MIKE FORMAN - MFORMAN@VICAD.COM
Sept. 14, 2011 at 4:14 a.m.
Updated Sept. 18, 2011 at 4:18 a.m.
Miles Manning met David Pierce when he went to a baseball camp at Rice as a freshman.
Pierce was the Owls' pitching coach and kept tabs on Manning during his high school career at Memorial and Victoria West.
Pierce also watched Manning play select ball for the Houston Banditos.
Pierce recently became the head coach at Sam Houston State and he'll get to follow Manning through his college career.
Manning, a senior at West, has committed to attend Sam Houston State on a baseball scholarship in the 2012-13 school year.
Manning made a recruiting visit to Huntsville and participated in a camp at the school during the summer.
He plans to make his commitment to the Bearkats official during the early-signing period in November.
"I liked how the school was," said Manning, who also had offers from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Air Force and made a recruiting visit to TCU. "The baseball team has all new coaches. They're all younger, and I liked them a lot."
Manning pitched and played in the infield at West during his junior season.
He had a 10-2 record and was a first-team All-District 30-4A and second-team all-area selection at pitcher.
Manning may continue to pitch at Sam Houston State, but he is expected to see the bulk of his action in the infield.
"He noticed me for my pitching," Manning said of Pierce. "Then he started watching me, and he liked me at shortstop."
Manning will be back on the mound for West during his senior season and will play the infield when he isn't pitching.
"I expect him to pick up where he left off last year," said West coach Manuel Alvarado. "He did a great job at the plate for us last year and played outstanding defense at second and short.
"We will also be looking at him to be the leader of the pitching staff this year and help in assisting our younger pitchers coming up that don't have much experience on the varsity level."
Manning helped West win the District 30-4A championship last season, but he was disappointed when the Warriors lost in the area round of the playoffs to Corpus Christi Moody.
"I want to win district again this season," Manning said. "This time we want to get past the second round."