Former Carlisle Bison baseball player Connor Fields, who played his senior season at Marked Tree this past spring, signed to play for Asbury University, a NAIA program in Wilmore, Ky, just outside of Lexington.

Fields, who was a ulitilty player for the Bison before suffering a ruptured spleen and missing postseason play in 2012, including the Class 2A state title game, signed to play catcher for the Eagles.

Fields said athletics is important to him.

"However, academics plays a big role in it also," he said. "It is a great academic school as well as having a very good baseball program. They are doing renovations on the baseball field and the first part of it is around $1.6 million. It was the best combination of both those in my mind."

Fields said he was interested in Williams Baptist College in Walnut Ridge, Central Christian College in Kansas and Illinois Institute of Technology.

The 2013 season for Fields was different, having played for the Bison for several seasons before his family moved to Marked Tree during the early part of the 2012-13 school year. Fields played golf for the Bison before transferring. He played basketball and baseball for the Indians.

"It was very difficult at the beginning with all of the new faces," Fields said of playing ball at Marked Tree. "However, the coaches and players were very receptive and it make it a lot easier."

The Indians were in the same conference with McCrory, who was a longtime rival of the Bison.

"It was very rewarding beating them in the district championship game," Fields said.

Fields said getting the opportunity to play college baseball is a "dream come true."

"Especially with my injury last year and coming so close to not being able to play again, it means even more," Fields said. "I don’t take anything for granted after that happened. It is a great feeling knowing that all of the extra work I have put in over the years is paying off."

Former Carlisle coach and current Heber Springs coach B.J. Greene said Fields knows the game of baseball.

"In my five years there, we had some really good baseball players there," he said. "Not only was he a good player, but he knew the game. We had some other players that didn’t know the game like he did."

Greene said the more positions that Fields could play, the better he got.

"The better he got, the more positions he could play," Greene said. "If we had a catcher go down, he was the catcher. If we needed someone to play first base, he was the first baseman. That goes back to knowing so much about the game. He could fill in for anybody."

Greene said Fields would have started for him this season at Class 4A Heber Springs.

"He would have been a starter at some position for me," he said.