Sports

TJ's Brigham signs to pitch at University of Washington

Thomas Jefferson High School senior Jeff Brigham is staying home to play baseball.

The right-handed pitcher signed a national letter of intent to play at the University of Washington next year. Last week was the first day of the early signing period for athletes in sports such as basketball, baseball, fastpitch and soccer, among others.

As a junior, Brigham developed into the ace of the Raiders’ pitching staff after not even being a starter when the season kicked off.

“Last year, we became aware of what Jeff could do early in the season,” said TJ head coach Mike Church. “I chose to use Andrew Jones and Drew Staples as starters and use Jeff as a one- to two-inning closer. But Andrew hurt his shoulder, so Jeff stepped in.”

In his first start of the season, Brigham threw a five-inning no-hitter against previously unbeaten Kentwood, beating the Conquerors 11-0. In his second start, Brigham notched a complete-game, 5-2 win over Kentridge and gave up only one earned run on five hits, while striking out 13.

During his junior season, Brigham finished 3-1 with two saves. He had a 2.94 earned-run average, struck out 47 in 35 innings of work and gave up only 5.18 hits per seven innings. Brigham also hit .333 with seven RBIs and 12 runs and was a first-team, All-South Puget Sound League North Division selection.

“Jeff is touching 90 mph on the radar gun and has crazy movement on his fastball,” Church said.

Brigham was also recruited by Arizona State University and Washington State.

The University of Washington finished the year 25-30 overall and 13-14 in the Pac-10 Conference last season. The Huskies are entering their first year under head coach Lindsay Meggs, who takes over for longtime coach Ken Knutson. Knutson was fired after last season.

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