Moving up to the next level

Cowley College sophomore baseball players signing National Letters of Intent with four-year schools, from left: George Specht, Miguel Obeso, Austen Neal, Blaze Brothers, Logan Steenstra, Hunter O’Toole and Tyler Halstead.

Seven Cowley College baseball players who helped the Tigers to conference and region titles and a sixth-place finish at the JUCO World Series, recently signed National Letters of Intent to further their careers at four-year schools.

“Our program is all about getting players to the next level,” Cowley assistant coach Brock Buckingham said.

Signing with NCAA Division I schools were former Arkansas City High School standout Hunter O’Toole (Southeast Louisiana University), Miguel Obeso (Texas Tech University), Logan Steenstra (University of Tennessee), George Specht (Dallas Baptist University) and Tyler Halstead (Campbell University).

“They put in the hard work to improve their stock and to have an opportunity to sign with these great schools,” Buckingham said. “We are excited for them. It is a good day for Cowley baseball.”

Obeso, a 6-foot-3 right-hander, went 6-1 with 77 strikeouts in 43 2/3 innings. He was drafted in the 40th round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays.

Steenstra was named an all-conference second-team selection after providing the Tigers with exceptional defense at shortstop to go with a .310 batting average and 49 RBI. He was drafted in the 40th round of the MLB Draft by the Minnesota Twins.

George Specht batted .302 with 25 RBI as a freshman, while Halstead batted. 310 with four home runs and 36 RBI.

O’Toole, who led Ark City to the Class 4A State title in 2018, went 3-0 as a freshman and struck out 36 while walking only seven in 28 2/3 innings.

Signing with NCAA Division II schools were Blaze Brothers (Northeastern University) and Austin Neal (Emporia State University).

Brothers batted .318 with seven doubles and 27 RBI, and Neal struck out eight in 8 2/3 innings.

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