PORTSMOUTH- Notre Dame’s ace pitcher, Hayden Baker, signed with the Asbury University Eagles Friday morning.
In attendance was his father Kevin, his mother Keri, coaches Drew and Matt Mader, among other Notre Dame faculty and students.
“I’m as proud as I could be,” said Kevin Baker. “It’s a lot of his hard work finally paying off for him.”
The Notre Dame Titans won the SOC this season, with Baker being a huge part of that success. He had a perfect 5-0 record on the year. Coach Drew Mader will miss his ace, but wishes him the best at the next level.
“I’m extremely proud of him,” said Mader. “This is the first signing of one of the kid’s I have coached. It couldn’t have come to a better person. He’s worked his tail off four years straight for me. I can’t be any happier for him because he consistently works hard inside the classroom and on the field. He’s finally being rewarded for all that hard work.
“Anywhere he is put, whether it is in the starting rotation or as a reliever he will enjoy it. He sees the game very well, he reacts very well, and he’s excited to play at the next level. This year he threw extremely well for us and he took great pride in the fixing the little things in his game. He came out on a mission and I think he will take that into Asbury.”
Baker will travel 140 miles southwest, slightly passed Lexington, to make his new home in Wilmore, Kentucky. There he will take the field of the Asbury Eagles and his new coach, Manny Cervantes.
“They gave me a great opportunity to play college baseball,” said Baker. “That’s always been my dream.
“I went on a private visit down there and loved it. The coaches are great and it looks like they have a great program down there. I’m excited, I really think I can be another pitcher that they can utilize.”
No athlete that goes on to play collegiate ball has done so without help along the way. Baker is no different, and is thankful for the men who shaped his mechanics and abilities through his journey.
“I’d obviously like to thank Coach Mader,” Baker said. “My summer league coach and Coach Shoupe were also great teachers, too.”
Baker will be majoring in Sports Management. Look for him on the mound next spring when he suits up for the Eagles.
Reach Derrick Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @DC__Parker