At first glance, Colton Rainey doesn’t mirror your prototypical baseball player. A first baseman at Petal High School, Rainey is listed on MaxPreps at 5-foot-8 and is self-described as “kinda slow”. Still, Rainey never let go of his dream of playing college baseball, even as he entered his senior year at Petal with zero offers.
“I knew if I kept playing hard, it would come,” he said. “God willing, it did.”
Kenny Dupont, head baseball coach at Holmes Community College in Goodman, MS, knew of another Petal player who was interested in coming to Holmes. Not long after, he stumbled upon Rainey.
“When he [Dupont] saw Colton, he was excited about having the possibility to get him,” Petal coach Shane Kelly said.
“I think Colton has some intangibles you just can’t measure.”
With that in mind, Holmes offered Rainey a chance to make his dream a reality. After committing to the Bulldogs earlier this month, he made things official and signed with the program on Tuesday afternoon.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet that I’m playing baseball at the next level,” Rainey said. “But I feel like once I get up to Goodman, it will.”
After playing sparingly his sophomore year at Petal in 2017, Rainey broke into the Panthers’ starting lineup as a junior late last season. This year, the senior is leading the Panthers in hitting (.377) and RBI (15).
“I’ve battled some injuries this year, but I’ve battled through it,” he said. “All in all it’s been good.”
Rainey says Holmes is interested in him at first base and/or catcher. With the program only carrying 24 players on their roster at a time, Rainey believes the opportunity for early playing time is there, too.
“I’m gonna get a chance to show them what I can do up there.”
There, Rainey will join three former Petal teammates in Tyler Dobson, Hunter Dykes and Nate Oswalt.
“I’ve been growing up with those guys ever since I was little, so I’m just ready to play with them again,” Rainey said.
“The three guys that are up there right now, he [Dupont] likes them,” Shane Kelly added. “He likes what they bring to the team, so I think it’ll be a good nucleus having those four guys up there.”