Baseball: Hadlock signs with Cal Poly

He made his mind up nearly a year ago, but Douglas High senior Jordan Hadlock made it official Wednesday afternoon.

Hadlock signed a national letter-of-intent to play Division I baseball for the Cal Poly Mustangs in San Luis Obispo, California.

"I was doing a lot of junior showcases down in their area last year," Hadlock said. "I went there in December for their showcase and they made me a scholarship offer."

He gave the Mustangs his verbal commitment about two weeks later.

"I liked the coaching staff a lot," Hadlock said. "They are really good with their players and they've built a great program. The school is just amazing academically and I love the town. It's smaller for California, which is what I like, and it's right on the beach. The area is perfect."

The Mustang coaches are primarily looking at Hadlock to play catcher, although he's been told he may see time at shortstop or second base.

Hadlock was a spot-starter at second base for the Tigers his freshman year and was the team's starting shortstop as a sophomore.

He made the switch to catcher the summer heading into his junior year.

"We hadn't needed a catcher for a while with (three-year starter) Roman (Davis) in there, but when he graduated the coaches were looking for someone to step up," Hadlock said. "I thought it would be a fun position, so I gave it a try."

The move paid off quickly.

Hadlock hit .343 with 14 doubles, five triples, six home runs and 24 RBIs, to go with seven stolen bases, and earned first-team All-Sierra League honors at catcher.

"I just seemed to do well with it," Hadlock said. "I take care of the pitchers pretty well and I like calling the game behind the plate.

"I had to learn a lot really quick. Coach Glov (Douglas coach John Glover) really walked me through everything. It was a lot of work. Now it's a matter of really working on refining my game and taking care of the areas where I am weak."

That he would even be considered as a Division I catcher is a testament to his athleticism, considering when Cal Poly offered the scholarship, Hadlock hadn't even taken one pitch behind during a high school varsity season.

"I liked that," Hadlock said. "They made me an offer and they stuck with it. That showed a lot for a college to do that."

Glover agreed.

"He's been behind the plate one full high school season and just two summers now," Glover said. "So, really in terms of experience, he's still a baby. But athletically, he is fine.

"He's the kind of guy you want behind the plate. Some people might look at his size (Hadlock is 5-8, 165 pounds) and question that, but you talk to anyone who knows baseball they'll tell you he's a guy you want back there."

Hadlock has one of the better throwing arms in the state from behind the plate, but he also compiled a 2.01 ERA as the Tigers' primary closing pitcher last season.

That arm, however, isn't all that stands out about his abilities as a catcher, according to Glover.

"He has great feet, the best I've seen around here in quite a while," Glover said.

"That's what really gets him out of the chute. You don't find catchers with good footwork a lot of the time, but his are great."

Hadlock was a two-sport standout for Douglas as a sophomore, starting at point guard for the varsity basketball team as well, but he decided to focus just on baseball heading into his junior year.

"I really liked basketball," he said. "It was fun. But I knew if I was going to have a chance to play Division I baseball, I'd have to make a choice and focus."

Once he did, the colleges came knocking.

Hadlock picked Cal Poly out of a list that included Stanford, Saint Mary's, San Francisco, Kansas, Kansas State and Gonzaga.

The Mustangs went 32-24 last year to complete their fourth-consecutive winning season. They play in the Big West Conference and had 22 former players currently in professional baseball. Two of those are currently at the Major League level (Kevin Correia, San Francisco and Garrett Olson, Baltimore, both pitchers).

Hadlock is the only catcher the Mustangs signed during the early signing period and the two catchers currently on their roster are upperclassmen.

For now, though, Hadlock is just looking to contribute for the Tigers this spring.

"I just want to play to the best of my ability," he said. "I'm looking forward to my senior season here."

And so is Glover.

"He had a great summer," Glover said. "He's kind of the team leader now with those nine seniors graduating last year. He showed up every day this summer and did what he was supposed to do. He's the kind of guy you want out here."


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