Wednesday evening via Twitter, rising Batesville senior Gage Wood announced his decision to flip his baseball commitment from Kansas State to Arkansas.
Wood said “Growing up as a Hog fan, my family are Hog fans, and being from Arkansas,” are three big factor in what made Fayetteville his dream destination. Arkansas is home.”
Batesville Pionners’ head baseball coach Kelly Rush said, “Everyone has a ‘dream school’ that they grow up wanting to be a part of and that opportunity came available.”
“That program has produced numerous professional players in the past 20 or so years,” Rush added.
This past season, Wood pitched 66.2 innings and struck out 138 while only walking 19. He had a microscopic ERA of 0.42 and held batters to a .104 average. He also set a school record with 18 strikeouts in one game against Nettleton.
In the first round of the 5A state tournament he threw a no -hitter against Benton. Wood fanned 16 Panthers in that contest.
Rush said he thinks “the Hogs got the best pitcher in the state to flip and he gets to live his dream.
“[I] can’t blame a young man for that,” Rush said. “We were going to be proud of him where ever he went, but I’m tickled he’s a Hog in the near future.”
This summer Wood has been playing for the Mid-South Prospects Platinum team. He said they have been to Atlanta, Kansas City, and Northwest Arkansas.
A trip to Hoover, Ala is coming up soon for the Prospects.
Hoover is where the SEC tournament is played every year. The Razorbacks won their first SEC tournament last season.
Wood has bigger goals at Arkansas than just winning an SEC tournament.
“Going to a school like Arkansas we have a really good chance of winning a national championship,” Wood said. “That’d be a huge goal to have. A personal goal would be to make an impact early.”
Another goal for Wood is to be a weekend starter for the Razorbacks.
Even with his commitment to Arkansas, Wood did not rule out going straight to the major leagues right out of high school.
“It depends on how serious and how early it is and if it’s the right decision,” Wood said.
Wood said he is going to do what “I think is best for me and my family.”