PREP BASEBALL

Recruiting ramps up for Crossroads players

2014-06-17T20:30:00Z 2014-06-19T20:12:32Z Recruiting ramps up for Crossroads playersHillary Smith hillary.smith@nwi.com, (219) 933-3233 nwitimes.com

GARY | Kody Hoese has a goal in mind for his college recruiting process.

The Griffith baseball player is heading into his junior year and hopes to have a school picked out by the time he starts the 2015 season.

He's already been contacted with interest from Big Ten schools -- Indiana and Purdue -- and SEC programs -- Kentucky and Arkansas -- and is keeping his options open locally -- at Valparaiso.

Hoese doesn't want to miss an opportunity to show off his skills as a shortstop. He was first spotted during a regional game his freshman year and the interest built from there.

He was one of the youngest players from Northwest Indiana at Tuesday's Crossroads Series Showcase at U.S. Steel Yard.

"I've been to a couple of these," Hoese said. "I like to have the colleges see my tools and what I can bring to the table for them."

The 20 players invited were all in different stages of their recruiting process.

Bishop Noll's Nick Thrasher is weighing options between football and baseball, waiting for the best opportunity.

And Valparaiso's Sam Miller has some interest, and was hoping to generate a little more by showing his skills to 50 college coaches and pro scouts at U.S. Steel Yard.

"I really enjoy the colleges watching me and the pressure," Miller said. "I just enjoy playing the game I love."

The day started with skills demonstrations and batting practice, included a question-and-answer session with college coaches and ended with games between players from each of six regions in the state.

The Northwest Indiana team dropped 2-1 to players from the South Bend and Elkhart area, but score wasn't officially kept as coaches were paying more attention to how the pitchers battled under pressure and how the batters responded after a hit or a strikeout.

"I was a lot less nervous this time," Thrasher said. "It was a lot more fun, I got to know the other kids better, and it was an honor to be selected to come here."

The players were also evaluated by Cincinnati Reds scouts to help determine which will be invited back for an all-star game July 15-16 at Indiana University.

In addition to the coaches gathering as much information as they could to find the diamonds in the rough, the players were learning their best practices to being a recruit.

"There were some things I already knew, and one thing they reiterated is to be smart with the whole social media," Miller said. "That's been banged into my head not to put anything stupid out there. But it was nice to hear from the coaches and hear about the different levels of play and what they're expecting."

"They revived that you can not get a full ride for baseball, that you have to do well in school," Thrasher said.

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