First it was Andrean pitcher Nick Fushi who picked his school and committed to Ball State.
Then came Clay Thompson, the Niners outfielder and pitcher selected Oakland.
When junior-to-be Michael Doolin selected his dream school of Vanderbilt only a couple of days later, he helped Andrean hit a trifecta it hadn’t seen in quite some time — three Division I players commit at the same time.
“It’s pretty crazy, and the best thing is that we’re one big family,” Doolin said. “We’re always the first to know when one brother commits. I think the second or third person I called was Clay.”
Doolin said he’s been a fan of Vanderbilt baseball since he was 10 years old. That the Commodores reached the College World Series three times in five years and won the championship in 2014 only solidified that love of the team.
“As I got older, I was worried as much about baseball as education,” Doolin said. “But I want to major in pre-med, and that is a great school for it.”
Andrean coach Dave Pishkur said that Doolin was the most sought-after player he’s coached. Doolin already had offers from Miami, Duke, Virginia, North Carolina, Indiana, Purdue, Penn State and Michigan.
He was 8-0 with a save, a 1.60 ERA, 86 strikeouts and 23 walks this season on the mound. He also hit .380 with 25 RBIs, 10 doubles and three homers.
During a summer league game playing for the Indiana Bulls, Doolin struck out 10 in five innings, Pishkur said.
“He is literally, without a doubt, the most coveted player I’ve coached,” Pishkur said.
Doolin’s commitment was the cherry on a three-week span for Pishkur.
“I’m pretty pumped,” he said, adding that all three players have academic scholarships to add to their athletic offers.
His team was recently selected by the American Baseball Coaches Association for a Team Academic Excellence Award, having a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Andrean was one of 69 high schools across the country picked for the award and one of four in Indiana, joining Whitko, Lafayette Central Catholic and New Castle.
Education was equally as important to Thompson, who is headed to Oakland with consideration to major in education or also a medical field.
“As soon as (Oakland) called me, I knew that was the right pick,” Thompson said. “What they told me about the school and how welcoming it was when I went down to meet the team.”
Thompson, who pitched and played in the outfield last season, said the opportunity to play as soon as he reaches campus also helped him pick the Golden Grizzlies.
“The biggest thing was the chance to play right away,” Thompson said. “They also put you in a good place to continue at the next level.”
Thompson was 6-1 this season as a pitcher with a 2.80 ERA, 47 strikeouts and 13 walks. He hit .318 with 21 RBIs, four homers and five doubles.
Pishkur said the Fushi is the most athletic on his team at 6-foot-5.
Fushi played his first season of varsity baseball in the spring and he was noticed right away.
He said that Ball State had a beautiful campus and a program that felt right.
“This was my first year playing varsity baseball and getting college looks, so this was all new to me,” Fushi said. “I had other schools looking, and Ball State was the biggest one. As I went on my visit, I had to jump on the chance as soon as I got it.”
“He’s the fastest runner and so athletic,” Pishkur said. “He’s the kid that experience wise doesn’t have as much baseball experience because he played so much basketball. But the basketball helped his athleticism. He gave up basketball and focused on baseball, and now he’s going to Ball State.”