ND's Thomas working towards a college career
Notre Dame's Hunter Thomas will be hoping to play college baseball next season.
So in order to get there he's playing with some of the best collegiate players this summer playing in the Perfect Game League.
"This league here is designed for collegiate players," Notre Dame coach Bill Hopkins said. "Very, very few 2014 high school graduates in the league."
Thomas was asked to play for the Adirondack Trail Blazers.
"(They) actually have the lowest age line-up in the league, they are willing to take the chance on recommended players," remarked Hopkins. "He's got guys on the roster from Rutgers and Bucknell and these are Division I players and Hunter is competing against players of that level and that makes you better."
And the former Crusader is holding his own, hitting in the .270s with a stolen base.
"He's pitched an inning," said Hopkins. "They're asking him to play infield at second, third and a little bit of short."
To do this Thomas didn't have much of a summer vacation, graduating on a Friday night only to be in uniform the next day. But this is something he knows he needed to do in order to try and make Mansfield University's baseball roster next season.
"I spoke to Harry Hillson (Mansfield coach) and Harry agreed to give him a tryout in the Fall," explained Hopkins. "If he didn't have a chance to play this summer it would be very difficult to leave an impression. Having so much time off from his last high school game until this Fall would be very hard. Having this as a bridge against kids that are 21-21 years old is a very good opportunity for Hunter."
This is also a good way to get ready for college life.
"It's kind of neat because he's staying with a host family up there," said Hopkins. "It's a really good experience for him to be able to get a little taste of being on his own. It's good preparation for college and the regiments of collegiate sports."
Regardless of whether this gets Thomas on the Mansfield baseball team or not his old coach will always think highly of him.
"I'm very proud of him," said Hopkins. "Not too many kids around here that get this chance."