By Craig Pearson
Two Vigo County baseball players will sign national letters-of-intent this week to play at the Division I level, and one Wabash Valley track standout has committed to run for Indiana State.
Jacob Hayes of Terre Haute South will sign today to play for defending regular-season Big Ten champion Ohio State, and Tyler Wampler of West Vigo will ink with Indiana State during the early signing period that begins today and ends Nov. 18.
All-state sprinter Shelby Higginbottom of North Central will run for the Sycamores and women’s coach John Gartland. She cannot sign a LOI until on or after Feb. 3.
For Hayes, playing for Ohio State has been his dream ever since his cousin Mike Hayes pitched for the Buckeyes.
While Hayes said he also had interest from Indiana University, it didn’t take him long to make a decision.
“When [Ohio State] said they’d offer me a scholarship, it was a weird feeling, it really was a dream come true,” Hayes said. “I kind of knew when Ohio State offered, I knew deep down that’s where I would end up. Ohio State has made it seem like I’ll have a chance to play right away.”
Hayes, who credits his father and South coach Kyle Kraemer for his development as a player, helped the Braves win back-to-back sectional titles and a regional title in 2008. The leadoff batter had four home runs in 2009 and had a strong summer for Wayne Newton Post 346. Playing for his uncle, manager John Hayes, Jacob hit .427 and struck out just 10 times in close to 150 at-bats.