23rd Round pick LHP James Morris, U Illinois Champaign
2004 Redshirt Sophomore: Made 14 appearances out of the bullpen in 2004 • Threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief against Mississippi State, striking out three • Struck out a career-high five in three innings of work against Western Michigan • Picked up a save and win over the Michigan series, saving game three of the series after allowing one run in two innings of work before turning around to win game four, throwing the final four innings.
2003 Sophomore: Redshirted the season with a back injury • Made a comeback over the summer, pitching for the Wisconsin Woodchucks of the Northwoods League.
2002 Freshman: Made Illini debut in season-opening series at Texas-Pan American - allowed two runs on one hit in 2/3 of an inning of work • Made Big Ten debut against Indiana in Conference's opening weekend • Threw a scoreless two innings against Illinois College near the end of April • Followed that up with two more scoreless innings against Blackburn College in the middle of May • Struck out a career-high two against Blackburn • Played for the Wausau Woodchucks of the Northwoods League over the summer.
Earned 11 varsity letters at Eldorado: four in both baseball and football and three in basketball • Struck out 116 in 61 innings as a senior while posting a 2.67 ERA • Selected to participate in the Southern Illinois Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Game • Hit .462 with seven home runs and 28 RBI as a first baseman • Earned All-South honors as a junior and senior in baseball, football (defensive end) and basketball (center) • Honorable mention All-State selection in basketball as a senior • Team finished fourth in the state in baseball his junior season • An excellent student, was on the High Honor Roll all four years of high school, earned Student of the Quarter honors three times, received the Lt. Governor Academic Award as a junior and senior, earned Army ROTC Scholar-Athlete honors as a senior and was the recipient of the First State Bank Scholarship.
Born June 3, 1983 • Parents are James and the late Barbara Morris • Majoring in kinesiology • Selected in the 37th round of the 2001 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Anaheim Angels • Lists biggest thrill in sports as going to state in baseball and finishing fourth • Favorite athlete is Randy Johnson because he is a winner, has a good work ethic and is a big lefthander • Past summer jobs include working as a youth league umpire • Plans after finishing school include playing professional baseball as far as it will take him and then becoming a sports agent • Active in church youth activities • Lists his father, his high school coach, Greg Goodley, and the Eldorado fans "who offered continuous support and guidance throughout my elementary, middle school and high school career" as the biggest influences on his athletic career • Would like to thank the Illinois coaching staff for giving him the opportunity to play baseball in the Big Ten and study at the University of Illinois.