Football and basketball get all the breaks. One of those players commits, you know it like before it happens and you know all about the guy just by plugging in. Baseball, not so much. No star ratings. No headlines and neon lights. Football, you can pick up on things just by osmosis. But you really have to go out of your way to even find the names in a baseball class, let alone any details. So here's a little attempt to familiarize the audience at large with UVA's recruiting class of 2010. Next year when the next Branden Kline or Danny Hultzen shows up on the mound, you won't have to wonder where the hell they came from.
The left-handed Ashooh pitches for Centreville in Northern Virginia and committed to UVA in late 2008, before his junior season. In his freshman season, Centreville was a 4-17 doormat; his pitching has helped to lift them from the doldrums to the regional tournament, where they exited this year in the quarterfinals. Ashooh was the district co-pitcher of the year, and threw two no-hitters, one in the regional opener.
Ashooh's had some injury issues: a broken vertebrae after his junior year and a really nasty-sounding virus before that regional no-hitter. Hopefully he'll avoid that in college, because there is always room for a 6'2" lefty with an upper-80s fastball on a pitching staff.
A name you definitely know, if you follow high school baseball in the state of Virginia. Crockett is another southpaw, who has earned various and sundry state Player of the Year designations and led his Poquoson team to two consecutive AA state championships. Crockett was also the ESPN Rise Athlete of the Week in the East region, an honor earned for setting the state record for wins by a high school pitcher. Crockett's teammate Chad Pinder is also playing college ball next season - but in Blacksburg.
Justice's Orange team lost a sixth-inning lead (second-to-last inning, in high school ball) to Crockett and Poquoson in the state quarterfinals, otherwise it might have been they who had a shot at the title. He pitches (lefty, also) and plays the outfield; his coach thinks it'll be pitching for him in college. And according to that article, his offer to UVA was for a full scholarship; impressive, since college baseball only allows for about 12 scholarships to be divided among 27 players; many only get a half or quarter scholarship.
Coming to us out of New Jersey, Lewicki's another guy that's had a few health issues. Arm trouble ended his junior season and eventually caused him to undergo surgery. He throws in the low 90s and has what BA's Aaron Fitt calls a "promising slider." Lewicki's also been called "arguably the best pitcher in North Jersey" although that was unfortunately after getting beaten into the ground in the state tournament.
How embarassing. The Googlemachine is broken. Actually, it works just fine if you want to find out about the David Mixon that used to pitch for Louisiana-Monroe and is now toiling in the Giants' farm system. Our version is a Werman-sized pitcher out of Iowa, who plays for the non-search-engine-friendly Prairie High School. Prairie's season is still ongoing, which doesn't help. I guess if I had to speculate, Mixon's size and apparent lack of shining accolades worthy of being splashed on the Internet (at least outside Iowa) mean he'll be something other than a pitcher at UVA.
Despite that setback, Part 2 runs tomorrow.