Regis Jesuit standout pitcher David Peterson gave his verbal commitment to the University of Oregon Monday night.
The junior left-hander — who went 6-3 with a 3.26 ERA last spring and helped the Raiders to the semifinals of the Class 5A state baseball championship series — returned from a trip to the Eugene, Ore., campus on Sunday night and wasted little time in giving his pledge to the Ducks the next day.
“I’m ecstatic, this is an amazing feeling,” Peterson said just 30 minutes after giving his commitment. “All the schools I was looking at were great choices, but I just got that gut feeling that Oregon was the right place for me to be. It was sortof hectic at times, but it was a great experience for me to go through and I developed a lot of great relationships in the process.”
Oregon finished third in the Pac-12 conference last season and finished 46-19 overall under coach George Horton. The Ducks lost a best-of-three series with Kent State with a berth in the College World Series on the line.
Peterson went 5-1 with a 3.43 ERA as a freshman in helping Regis Jesuit win the 5A state championship and continued his development as a sophomore under coach Walt Weiss, a former major league shortstop who was recently hired by the Colorado Rockies as their new manager.
The lanky 6-foot-6 hurler, a two-time member of the Sentinel’s All-City first team and was selected for the Colorado Rockies Futures Game last season, credited the influence and advice Weiss gave him as a key to his landing.
“Knowing Coach Weiss was definitely a resource I used,” said Peterson, who has a fastball that clocks in just under 90 mph and can throw various off-speed pitches for strikes. “He helped me with the exposure that I needed and advised me on where to go for the best exposure. We still have a pretty good relationship and I still look to him for advice when I need it. One thing he pointed out was not to rush it and that the time would come when I knew it would be right. I just had to have patience.”
Regis Jesuit is still searching for a head coach to replace Weiss — and hopes to have a selection before Christmas break according to Peterson — but whoever takes over the job will inherit plenty of talent.
Prior to Peterson’s commitment, senior shortstop Brody Weiss committed to the University of Santa Barbara, while junior infielder Reagan Todd gave his verbal pledge to Arizona State.
Senior outfielder Andrew Schmidt and junior infielder Max George — who played with Peterson in the Rockies Futures games — are also generating significant interest.
Peterson didn’t rush his decision, but the overwhelming feeling he got from Oregon prompted him to make the choice early. He vowed his commitment won’t affect his preparation for the last two baseball seasons of his high school career.
“My goals are still the same as they’ve always been; I still want to reach my goal of playing college baseball and hopefully the chance to play professional baseball in the future,” Peterson said.
“I’m going work as hard as I always have. My work ethic won’t change.”
Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at [email protected] or 303-750-7555