VIDALIA, Ga. (WSAV) – Kevin Cox took the next step in his baseball journey on Thursday, signing to college with the USC-Aiken Pacers.

Cox was the starting pitcher for Vidalia’s title-clinching win over Thomasville in the AA state finals. Coming into that series, Cox only had one college offer from East Georgia. However, Cox’s complete game, two-hit shutout brought a lot more interested parties to his door, including Aiken.

“I like the campus a lot, it was super nice,” Cox said. “They’re talking about doing some upgrades to it and I’m super excited for that. The gym is super nice. I’m no basketball player but I’m definitely going to attend some of them. The locker room is super nice and I like it a lot.”

Cox had to go through two major health scares just to play for Vidalia at all. The first was a Tommy John surgery on his pitching arm that kept him away from the field for almost a year. Another was in March of this past year, when a collision with a foul pole knocked out multiple teeth and broke his hand.

He returned to the field just three weeks after that injury.

Baseball coach Brent Korn said that the team is going to institute an award named after Cox, to be given each year to a player that exhibits toughness and high character. Broadcaster John Koon echoed Korn’s sentiments, praising Cox’s persistence.

“I am so proud of you, not because you just won a state championship but because you stayed the course,” Koon said. “You could have quite any time you wanted to and nobody would have blamed you.”

“Now that I’ve kind of settled down and looked around, this championship was a big deal;this is going to be remembered forever,” Cox said. “We’re still talking about 1995 to this day. It’s crazy that it happened to us.”