Wichita State made recruiting pitcher Garrett Hutson a top priority and it paid off.
Hutson, a junior at Circle, gave Shockers coach Todd Butler an oral commitment on Sunday. He cannot sign with WSU until November 2014. He is WSU’s first known commitment from the class of 2015.
Hutson (6-0, 190 pounds) said WSU offered him a scholarship earlier this summer. He wanted to think it over. On Sunday, he talked with Butler before his summer team played in a showcase tournament at Eck Stadium. Butler, he said, upped the offer and Hutson committed.
“They were the school that contacted me the most,” Hutson said. “My other serious consideration was Oklahoma State. WSU seemed more interested.”
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Hutson, a right-hander, pitches for the Midwest Warducks, a travel team based in Tulsa, during the summer. Coach Jason Arrowood said Hutson is excelling against high-level teams. In a wood bat tournament in Atlanta, Arrowood said he struck out 31 in 13 innings and allowed three hits.
“He’s one of the top arms in the region,” Arrowood said. “He's dominant against some of the best teams in the country.”
Hutson said his fastball consistently reaches 89-92 mph and tops out at 94. He also throws a curveball, changeup and slider.
“The scary thing is there is room for improvement,” Arrowood said. “He's going to grow some more. He's going to gain weight. His secondary pitches are going to get better.”
With WSU close to home, Hutson saw no reason to let the recruiting process continue.
“Their baseball facilities are altogether just amazing,” he said. “The energy and personality (from the coaches) is just great. I can’t wait.”
Professional baseball’s first shot at Hutson is a long way off — June 2015.
“He’ll have that option,” Arrowood said. “College is important to him. He's a good student.”
Hutson, who played quarterback at Circle before giving up football, helped the Thunderbirds finish third in Class 4A last spring. He went 3 for 3 with two RBIs while playing shortstop in the third-place win over DeSoto. Hutson struck out nine in the opening game of the state tournament, a 3-0 win over Concordia. His 91 strikeouts set a single-season record at Circle.