SPRINGDALE -- Drew Sturgeon is receiving an early introduction on his college baseball career after recently graduating from Farmington High School.
Sturgeon is playing in the Perfect Timing College Baseball League at the Tyson Compex. He batted leadoff and started in right field Thursday for PT Cardinal, which defeated Sandlot Grey 6-2.
He signed to play baseball at the University of Central Arkansas after a standout football and baseball career at Farmington.
"It's a good learning experience, for sure," said Sturgeon, who signed with UCA in December. "I learned a lot this past week, and I'm looking forward to next week."
PT Cardinal has four players from the University of Arkansas. Sturgeon contributed to the victory Thursday with a walk and a fine catch in deep right field that scored a run via a sacrifice fly for Sandlot Grey.
"It feels kind of weird, actually," Sturgeon said. "I'm used to watching them play for Arkansas, and this summer I'm actually playing with them."
Sturgeon said he was originally supposed to arrive at Central Arkansas on July 6, but he's uncertain now about the date because of delays with team sports because of the coronavirus pandemic. In the meantime, he'll receive more experience as one of the younger players in the Perfect Timing College Baseball League.
"Drew is really athletic," PT Cardinal Coach Zac Bottoms said. "He can really run and defend. He squared a couple balls up [Wednesday], and I think he's starting to get his legs under him. Drew is going to be a good player down there at UCA."
Men at work
A hard rain in Northwest Arkansas on Thursday morning didn't prevent play from continuing in the Perfect Timing College Baseball League.
Credit goes to the Springdale Parks and Recreation Department, led by head groundskeeper Chris Gibson, who spent hours preparing the three fields baseball fields at the Tyson Complex.
"Chris Gibson and those guys did a great job," said JT Barker, the owner of league. "They worked their tails off and made it happen."
Thursday's games complete the first of a five-week season for the league. Baker said the pluses greatly outweighed the minuses at the park for the start of team sports in Arkansas after a nearly three-month shutdown because of coronavirus pandemic.
"The players got a lot of at-bats, a lot of reps, and that's what we're here for," Baker said. "We had good crowds and the fans, they were understanding and quite manageable with the restrictions that were in place."
Thursday's 6-2 victory over Sandlot Grey concluded a good week for PT Cardinal, which won three of four games during the first week of a five-week season at Tyson Park in Springdale.
PT Cardinal includes four players University of Arkansas players, Matt Goodheart, Christian Franklin, Kevin Kopps, and Caden Monke.
"We had good energy, but we're a little short on pitching now until pitch counts come up," Bottoms said. "We blew one Wednesday because we didn't have any arms. But this team will be offensive because of the guys we have in the middle of the order."
Sports on 06/05/2020