Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Seven Chaps sign with four year schools

The Midland College baseball team had a great day on Wednesday when seven student athletes signed letters of intent to play at four-year universities next year.

Infielder Tyler Wulfert and right-handed pitcher Luke Young become teammates at Oklahoma State University, outfielder Luke Bumpus goes to TCU, outfielder / right-handed pitcher Jarek Wells signed with Houston Baptist University, catcher Ryan Blackwell at Oral Roberts University, right-handed pitcher Luis Rodriguez signs with University of Incarnate Word, and infielder Caleb Heuertz will continue a family tradition by attending Angelo State University.

MC head coach Hector Rodriguez said their signings are testament not only to their talent but also to the program’s ability to develop players.

“I think it’s a testament to the number one, their ability to work hard,” said MC coach Hector Rodriguez. “That’s why you go to junior college to work, to get better. These guys took advantage of the opportunity they had at Midland College. I am really happy for her. You ticked all the boxes: you are good students, good kids, good baseball players, and your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. I’m happy for them, happy for their families and happy for our program. “

All seven players are key returnees for a baseball team that turned 29-16 last season.

Wulfert and Young both had very good freshers. Wulfert beat .391 with six home runs and 39 RBI, while Young was in the starting rotation, going 6-1 in 12 appearances with a 7.80 ERA.

Both Wulfert and Young said they both felt at home at OSU after both visiting campus in late September after playing in a junior college baseball all-star game.

“I really enjoyed the coaches and the facilities they had. It was a pretty easy decision for me, ”said Wulfert.

Young added, “I was comfortable with anything and everything, so the decision was pretty easy for me too.”

Both said it would help to have a trusted teammate with you in Stillwater.

Wulfert, who is from Farmington, New Mexico, said he also looked at Arizona and TCU, while Young, who is from San Angelo, also considered Baylor and Texas A&M.

With his decision to move to Big 12 rival TCU, Bumpus will go from being a teammate of Wulfert and Young to an opponent.

“We make it difficult for ourselves in training, but it gets really exciting every time I compete against them,” said Bumpus.

Bumpus, who hails from Wylie, a suburb just northeast of Dallas, said the TCU will be closer to home and the Horned Frogs got into the recruiting process early.

“I went to some of their games and then I mainly chose myself because the coaching and philosophy fit my style of play,” said Bumpus, who also signed up shortly after playing in the All-Star game. “Stealing bases is more of my game, so it was a pretty good fit.”

Bumpus also had a good freshman year beating .397 with three home runs and 38 RBI.

Wells said he felt at home visiting Houston Baptist as well. Last year, the San Antonio native hit .396 with three home runs and 15 RBI and was 3-1 with a 6.67 ERA in 16 appearances on the hill.

“I loved the Christian university aspect and I also enjoy studying some things about the Bible. That was a big part of my decision, ”Wells said.

Wells said he also looked at Abilene Christian University, Purdue, and Rice University.

“Houston Baptist really stood out more because of the coaching staff there. That was the decisive factor in my decision, ”said Wells.

Rodriguez, who is from Denver City, was one of the most reliable pitchers out of the bullpen last year when he went 2-3 in 19 appearances with a 3.58 ERA. He said he is also considering Lubbock Christian University.

“When I went to visit, I liked the school, I liked the coaches, everything felt like home,” said Rodriguez, who only signed up to the UIW last week. “I felt like San Antonio would be a great place for a while. I think it’s a great opportunity for me in the classroom and a chance to play against big schools and compete against each other as well as possible. “

Blackwell, who is from Amarillo, said Oral Roberts seemed the best fit for him. He said he was also considering Stephen F. Austin.

“I’m really looking forward to going to ORU,” said Blackwell. “They have great all-round facilities and great coaches, some of the best coaches I’ve ever come across. They want me to get better, not just as a baseball player, but as a person too. They want me to grow in this area and, as the father of my family, to be a good provider in the future. “

Blackwell was the backup catcher for the Chaps last year, batting .400 with three homers and 15 RBI in 16 games played.

“That means a lot. This is part of the dream. I want to make it to the big leagues and that’s one step closer to that dream, ”he said.

Heuertz, who is from Wall, said he was looking forward to getting the chance to return to Angelo State.

“I really liked the coaches there, I grew up with them,” said Heuertz. “I considered other schools, but this is just a place I always wanted to go. My brother went there. Somehow it runs in the family and is close to home. “

Heuertz brought a big racket to MC when he hit .347 with nine home runs and 44 RBI in 38 games played.

Now that these chaps have decided on their future schools, they can focus on their upcoming season, which is eagerly awaited with the returning talent.

“You know what our goals are for the spring,” said Rodriguez of the players who signed. “I think we have a handful, if not more, talented players, just like these sophomores, who will find a place to play. I think they are ready to get the spring rolling and play. “

Follow Oscar on Twitter: @OLeRoy_MRT

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