Michael Peters has never stepped foot on the mound as a varsity pitcher for the Rock Island High School baseball team, yet the junior left-hander already has an NCAA Division I scholarship.|
Peters made his decision official this past weekend with his commitment to pitch at Indiana State University after he graduates from Rocky next spring.
"It is a little odd and surprising since I've never even thrown a varsity pitch,'' Peters said. "I guess it was part my legion (Rock Island Post 200) pitching this past summer and what they saw at their camp that I went to late in the summer."
Post 200 coach Tom Teager said members of the Sycamores' coaching staff were in the Quad-Cities this past July during the Leo Brunner Invitational when Peters pitched.
Following his appearance at the Indiana State camp in the summer, Peters was invited to the campus for a visit and before he could leave, he was sold on the school and baseball program.
"They started to email me after the camp and when I got there I liked the coaches and I liked the atmosphere in terms of them making sure the athletes keep their grades up."
Peters earned an 80-percent scholarship offer and can't wait to prove he is worth it. First, though, he has to make that first varsity appearance with the Rocks. That's something RI coach Jay Wayland is looking forward to.
"It would be my guess that Indiana State fell in love with a big-bodied lefty who can throw the heck out of the baseball,'' Wayland said. "It's easy to see why anyone would like him. Now, we need to get him in the (strike) zone more and have him reach that potential.
"Right now, Matt Erickson is our No. 1, but we sure want Michael in that 1-2 conversation. It would be best to have them pushing each other for the No. 1."
Peters is concentrating on getting better both on the diamond and in the classroom.
"The Indiana State coaches want me to just keep pitching,'' he said. "I want to add more velocity and I want to keep my grades up. That is important to me."