HURRICANE, W.Va. — With Hurricane rising senior J.T. Rogoszewski committing last week to play baseball for North Carolina, it added another Division I commitment to the Redskins’ talented rising senior baseball class.
“It just seemed like the right place for me,” Rogoszewski said. “It’s an amazing campus, team and school. It’s top class in everything I can think of.”
Rogoszewski’s Hurricane teammates, shortstop Trey Dawson and catcher Tate Brock, have committed to Randy Mazey and his coaching staff at WVU. Both of them pledged to the Mountaineers last summer. Dawson had Virginia Tech high on his list before he eventually made the call to stay in-state.
“What really made me choose WVU was just playing for my home state and the coaching staff. I really wanted to play for WVU once I started talking to the coaches,” Brock said. “The way Coach Mazey has turned that program around, you couldn’t ask for anything better. I’m extremely excited to play for him.”
Brock batted .340 this past season for the Class AAA state-champion Redskins. Dawson hit .402 with 35 RBIs.
“I had Ohio State, Texas A&M and a couple of other SEC schools (in the mix),” Dawson said. “With West Virginia’s program improving, the new facilities coming in, the way things are going up there and the way Coach Mazey is doing things, I just really like it.
“I just need to get up there and earn my spot. There will be other guys there that are looking to play and I’ll just have to do my best and see what happens.”
Rogoszewski, who finished the past year with an 8-1 record and 1.53 ERA on the mound, will join the pitching staff for North Carolina.
“I’m hoping to come in, throw a lot of strikes and get outs,” Rogoszewski said. “They told me if I can get outs, then I can get playing time.”
Rogoszewski visited Chapel Hill this past September where he talked with former Nitro standout Korey Dunbar who just completed his sophomore campaign with the Tar Heels.
“That’ll help a lot to have him down there,” Rogoszewski said. “He knows where I came from and what he had to go through, making the change from West Virginia to North Carolina. He knows the competition and everything I’m going through.”
Rogoszewski was also recruited by Virgina Tech, Georgia Tech, Pitt and WVU throughout the recruiting process.
“WVU gave a good offer and was in contention,” he said. “I just felt like North Carolina was a better fit for me.”
And as for the reaction from his Hurricane teammates?
“It’s a great opportunity for him,” Brock said. “Of course I wanted him to come up to Morgantown with myself and Trey – I was on him pretty heavy about it before he committed. But Carolina is a great place for him and I’m extremely excited for him and the opportunity he has.”
“It’s awesome for him—he deserves it,” Dawson said. “I’ve grown up with him my whole life and he’s a great player, a great pitcher. I’m sure he’ll fit well in that program and we talked about it the other day how we might bump into each other and I’m sure we’ll see each other down the road.”
Brock and Dawson, meanwhile, will be able to continue their careers at the next level together in Morgantown following their upcoming senior seasons.
“Trey and I are like brothers—we’re best friends and grew up together,” Brock said. “Another four years with him will be awesome. He’s my shortstop, we have the same mind and work back-and-forth great on the field together.”
For now, though, all three players will return in 2015 with a chance to end their high school careers as back-to-back state champions.
“This past year was a fun year, we played more together,” Dawson said. “Hopefully we can get one more before we all head off to college.”
“We’re obviously going to try to go back-to-back and then head off to the next level,” Brock said. “We’re going to make the best of our senior year, no pressure on us and we’re just going to go out and have some fun.”
“I’m glad we’re returning so many people. We’ll try to come back even better than last year,” Rogoszewski added. “Everything clicked at the right time for us this past year. It was a great time and a great experience.”