Five York County baseball players have committed to play NCAA Division I baseball
For high school baseball players, the chance to be recruited by an NCAA Division I college school doesn't end as soon as the high school season does.
Rather, that's when the recruiting process starts to intensify. Once the high school season ends, anywhere from mid-May to early-June, players start competing in showcase tournaments with travel clubs in front of dozens of college coaches.
It makes the summer months a busy and crucial time for talented players, and for five York County kids, it meant fulfilling a dream.
Over the past several weeks, Northeastern's Kody Reeser (Towson), Spring Grove's Matt Brooks (North Carolina-Charlotte), Dallastown's Tye Golden (Old Dominion), Red Lion's Wyatt Tyson (Campbell) and Susquehannock's Connor Hood (Seton Hall) announced their commitments to play D-I baseball.
Reeser chooses Towson: Reeser announced his commitment Friday on social media. He will be a senior in the fall.
Reeser, who plays both center field and pitches for Northeastern, will have a chance to play both for Towson, although he'll primarily be a pitcher. The announcement also comes on the heels of a big performance in the Big 26 Classic two weekends ago, where he earned player-of-the-game honors against Team Maryland on July 18.
Following that performance, La Salle, which was heavily recruiting Reeser, gave him a deadline of July 24 to make a decision on its offer. So, the day before that deadline expired, Reeser made a visit to Towson, where he said he loved every aspect of the campus and made a commitment to the school the next day.
"It was a beautiful campus," Reeser said. "The baseball field is nice, the whole atmosphere just seemed it would fit me. The education program there, it seemed like it was going to fit me. The distance from home is going to fit me. It just seemed like the right scenario as soon as I got into the visit."
Reeser says he plans on studying business or finance at Towson, which is about an hour south of Northeastern.
The Tigers, who play in the Colonial Athletic Association, sported a 17-35-2 record in 2015.
Brooks heading south: Two days after Reeser announced his plans to play at Towson, Brooks made his future known on his Twitter account.
For Brooks, his recruiting process was a slow one, with only a few schools coming out to watch him pitch at a showcase last winter and then during the high school season. But, once he began playing in travel events this summer, more schools began expressing interest.
The list of schools that recruited Brooks was extensive and included names such as Stony Brook, St. Joseph's and Penn State. However, UNC-Charlotte didn't enter the mix until early this summer, when hitting coach Bo Robinson spotted Brooks during a showcase in South Carolina.
From that point, the school's interest grew. After watching him pitch in Georgia, the school expressed its seriousness in recruiting him. That made Brooks and his family decide to take a closer look at the school and its program.
"Head coach (Loren Hibbs) wanted to meet face-to-face with us," Brooks said. "So, he actually flew up to Philadelphia and we drove to Philly, which is about two hours, and we met with him in his hotel room and we talked with him for about two hours and he told us everything about the program and the campus. After that, we were very impressed and went online and looked at the campus a little bit and decided to visit."
After being blown away by the UNC Charlotte campus during his visit this past weekend, Brooks was sold on committing there.
Brooks was recruited as a pitcher and he's looking into the school's business program.
UNC Charlotte plays in Conference USA and finished this past season at 19-29.
Tyson picks Campbell: Unlike Brooks, whose recruiting process really didn't garner interest from schools until this summer, Tyson's recruiting process dates back almost a year, when Campbell first saw the righty pitch and asked him to visit later that fall.
On his visit, Campbell extended a scholarship to Tyson, who then gave the North Carolina-based school his verbal commitment a day later.
"On the way home I decided that I wanted to make my commitment," Tyson said. "So, the next day I called them and they said that it was awesome and they were glad to have me on board."
Aside from Campbell, Tyson also had an offer from Fairleigh-Dickinson and interest from Penn State, William & Mary, Army and Columbia.
The Camels, who play in the Big South Conference, finished 32-25 last season.
Hood to be a Pirate: Hood has been sitting on his verbal commitment to Seton Hall since November.
Members of the Pirate coaching staff first saw him play in a showcase event in New Jersey and then invited him to their team camp later that fall. Afterward, Seton Hall extended an offer to Hood, which he later accepted.
A versatile player who plays third base and pitches for the Warriors, Hood has been named a York-Adams League all-star in each of his first three seasons with Susquehannock. In his career with the Warriors, he's a .422 hitter, with 42 RBIs and 64 runs scored, while on the mound, he's recorded 57 strikeouts in 49 2/3 innings pitched. However, when he's playing travel baseball, he's primarily manned third base, which will be where he'll mostly play when he goes to Seton Hall.
At the time of his commitment, he was rated the 13th best player in Pennsylvania for the Class of 2016 and is now listed as the No. 3 third basemen in the state.
"I had some options where I was looking to go," he said. "I just really liked Seton Hall a lot. I didn't feel like I had to commit soon or anything. It didn't matter Division I or Division II. I just needed to find a school that was good for me."
Hood was also being recruited by Penn State, William & Mary, Monmouth, Lipscomb, Longwood and North Carolina.
Seton Hall, which plays in the Big East, is coming off a 25-25 season.
Golden commits early to ODU: Unlike the other four York County products to announce their college plans, Golden is the only one not entering his senior season.
Rather, he'll only be a junior this upcoming school year, making his decision to verbally commit to Old Dominion earlier this month.
"One of the things I looked into was a lot of schools, nowadays, are over-recruiting," Golden said. "...I wanted to make sure I was ahead of everything and I wasn't in that panic mode. The way everything goes now, if I want to go somewhere that I want to go, I have to commit early."
Golden's travel team coach had a good relationship with the ODU staff, so the coaches first saw him play during a showcase in Virginia. After liking what they saw, they followed Golden down to Georgia for another showcase, at which point Golden's coach gave him ODU coach Chris Finwood's number and set up a visit to the Virginia campus. He committed a couple days later. Golden, will play middle infield when he goes to ODU.
The Monarchs are coming off a 27-29 season in 2015, where they lost to Southern Miss in the Conference USA tournament.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at email@example.com; follow on Twitter @P_Strohecker