Sophomore pitcher commits early to Indiana University

Short takes advice from coaches to make life-changing

Sophomore pitcher commits early to Indiana University

Hannah Garrett, Reporter

For as long as he can remember, sophomore A.J. Short has lived out his passion on the baseball field, but he never would have thought he would commit to something so big so early.

Short recently committed to Indiana University (IU), a Division 1 college, to play his favorite sport, baseball. After many years of playing, this is what he decided he wants to do in his future.

“It was great that I got the offer, but I didn’t expect it to be that early until it really happened,” Short said.

Short was offered full tuition and books from IU, which means all he has to pay for is his room and board. He looked at other schools he was interested in such as Penn State before this offer, but according to Short, IU is very convenient because he is able to stay close to home and he likes the education there. He specifically likes how they have the Kelley School of business, which offers top ranked business education at IU. Business is something he is interested in doing in his future.

Making such a big commitment as a sophomore in high school may seem too early, but according to Short, baseball is different when it comes to college offers. Colleges don’t provide as many full ride scholarships for baseball. Most male scholarships are offered to football and basketball. According to ScholarshipStats.com, on average, D1 schools provide a total of 85 full ride scholarships for football and 13 for basketball, so it is rare to get a full ride baseball scholarship since they only provide a total of 11.7. He is saving a lot of money from the offer IU gave him by committing early.

SHS head baseball coach Scott Whitlock has coached athletes that have committed to a D1 school, but never ones that have committed as a sophomore. The last time someone from SHS’s baseball program who played for a D1 School was 2009 graduate Cameron Perkins.

“I think my initial reaction probably was, you don’t want to commit and then worry about decommitment later, but the way college scholarships work for baseball, IU made him a very good offer for a sophomore in high school,” Whitlock said. “I think it was a good move for him.”

This coming season will be Short’s second year playing baseball for SHS. Whitlock is proud of him in all of his accomplishments, including leading Conference Indiana in strikeouts last season. According to Whitlock, he has the arm strength and movement on his pitches that IU is looking for, but everyone has room for improvement.

“He’s a competitor,” Whitlock said. “He still has a lot of room to grow and pick up some more arm speed.”

Short says he has made many memorable moments with his teammates and coaches in the past, and he is very excited to take his skill and apply it to his future at IU. He still has three seasons to improve and work his hardest before he graduates and continues on to the collegiate level of baseball, but from now on Short feels he has much to look forward to.

“Really just being a part of the team and getting able to play at the college level is always something I’ve wanted to do,” Short said.