Baseball: Matthews in demand

Six Division I schools, plus pros, are keen on .484-batting Nighthawk
2013-04-12T00:00:00Z Baseball: Matthews in demandAndrew Cockrum Special To The Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Jake Matthews' four years at Ironwood Ridge are almost over, but his future on the diamond is bright.

Since February, the senior shortstop has received interest from six Division I schools, has filled out numerous major-league draft questionnaires and has worked out for the Kansas City Royals.

"It's been crazy these past couple of months," said Matthews, who is batting .484 with six home runs for Ironwood Ridge.

He was recently offered an 80 percent scholarship to the University of New Mexico and has begun to receive interest from college baseball powerhouses Arizona State and TCU.

The Star recently sat down with Matthews to take a look at what he has been up to since the start of the season:

Jan. 15

What happened: Matthews and four other Nighthawks signed to play at Pima College.

Outcome: It's typical for highly recruited players to sign with both a four-year university and a junior college in the event of an injury.

Quotable: "It's a backup plan right now, but if I end up at Pima, it would be pretty special to play with all my (high school) teammates," Matthews said.

March 9

What happened: Matthews took an unofficial visit to the UA and toured the facilities at Hi Corbett Field.

Outcome: Matthews said he was offered a 25 percent scholarship by the Wildcats. The UA has since retracted the offer, Matthews said, and has invited him to walk on instead. NCAA rules prohibit coaches from commenting publicly about potential recruits.

Quotable: "I talked to some of the players, like Brandon Dixon. He was a nice guy and had a lot of good things to say about the program," Matthews said.

March 17

What happened: Matthews traveled to Surprise to work out for the Kansas City Royals.

Outcome: He had 10 at-bats and fielded ground balls at shortstop in front of scouts from the Royals, giving them an up-close opportunity to evaluate his draft potential. Matthews is likely to be drafted in June. If so, he'll become the first-ever Ironwood Ridge player taken.

Quotable: "I am just trying to find a college to go to right now, but if I get drafted by a professional team, it would be a great opportunity," Matthews said.

March 23-24

What happened: Matthews traveled to Seattle for an official visit at Washington.

Outcome: The Huskies offered him a 60 percent scholarship.

Quotable: "They are breaking ground on a new stadium after this season, and it will be done by the first game of the spring 2014, so it would be ready for my first season," Matthews said.

April 6-7

What happened: Matthews took an official visit to Kansas State.

Outcome: He was offered another 60 percent scholarship after watching K-State play Texas Tech.

Quotable: "Right now it is between Kansas State and Washington, but I'm still looking at all my options," Matthews said.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Activate

Latest Video

More videos

Rich Rod and players discuss their tough win

Rich Rodriguez, Austin Hill, Scooby Wright, Cayleb Jones on tonight's game


Follow the Arizona Daily Star

Featured businesses

View more...

Deals, offers & events

View more...