UF takes Mitchell ace
Mitchell left-handed ace Patrick Schuster, who has spent the summer improving his status among pro scouts in hopes of being drafted in 2009, announced his backup plan this evening.
He has committed to the University of Florida.
Schuster, who tied a 51-year-old Pasco County single-game record when he struck out 20 Gulf batters in an April 15 road win, said he chose the Gators over Central Florida, North Carolina and Texas, among others.
"I know a lot of my friends are going there from my travel team (the Tampa Bay Raiders)," said Schuster, 5-2 with a 1.07 ERA for the Mustangs as a junior last season.
"The program's great; actually the coach (Kevin O'Sullivan) is the pitching coach so he's got a good, strong hold on what the pitching staff's going to do. Money was part of the decision and they made an offer that made money not an issue."
Schuster (6-foot-2, 170 pounds) just returned from Cary, N.C., where he threw a pair of scoreless three-inning stints last week to lead Dixie National to USA Baseball's eight-team "Tournament of Stars" championship.
He said he ultimately was asked to join the 18-under national team, but declined so he could participate in next month's East Coast Professional Baseball Showcase in Lakeland.
JOEY KNIGHT, Times staff writer