Cougars ink Raiders’ Wyrick
by SARALYN NORKUS Banner Sports Writer
Feb 14, 2014 | 547 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
FROM CLEVELAND to Cleveland State: senior Left-handed pitcher Jake Wyrick recently signed to play baseball for Cleveland State. Seated from left are; Seth Wyrick, Paul Wyrick, Jake Wyrick, Karen Wyrick and Ben Wyrick. Standing from left are Cleveland coach Ted Carson and Cleveland State coach Mike Policastro. Banner photo, SARALYN NORKUS
FROM CLEVELAND to Cleveland State: senior Left-handed pitcher Jake Wyrick recently signed to play baseball for Cleveland State. Seated from left are; Seth Wyrick, Paul Wyrick, Jake Wyrick, Karen Wyrick and Ben Wyrick. Standing from left are Cleveland coach Ted Carson and Cleveland State coach Mike Policastro. Banner photo, SARALYN NORKUS
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After a stellar 2013 season, Cleveland pitcher Jake Wyrick was poised to be one of the top pitchers in District 5-AAA baseball.

Unfortunately a devastating knee injury suffered in November will keep Wyrick from making any appearances on the mound for his senior season with the Blue Raiders.

While missing out on his senior season is a tough blow, the impact has been slightly lessened this week as he signed with Cleveland State.

“I’m pretty excited about it,” Wyrick declared. “Hopefully I’ll bring some wins to their team. I just want to come out and be successful. “I’d like to see how far my baseball career can take me.”

According to Cougars’ head coach Mike Policastro, signing Wyrick was a high priority for the program.

“Jake has been on our radar for a long time,” Policastro explained. “We had him in baseball camps when he was 8 or 9 years old, and have watched him progress from there. He turned out to be a really good player, pitcher and position player, and he was high on our recruiting list for the 2014-2015 season.”

Wyrick knew Cleveland State’s coaching staff had been watching him, but things didn’t become serious until after last season.

“After the season last year I came down for a fall camp and that’s when I really started talking to Coach Policastro and Coach Aaron about signing with them. They’ve been watching me since I was a freshman,” Wyrick stated.

For the Cougars’ coach, having a left-handed pitcher is always a boon for a baseball team, while having a good left-handed pitcher is even better.

“Right now we have two on our roster. When you get a left-handed pitcher that’s a premium, then if you get a good left-handed pitcher that’s a double bonus,” Policastro commented.

“We expect him to come in and be able to contribute right away, both as a pitcher and position player.”

In his junior year, Wyrick was named to the All District tournament team, the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association All Region Team, and the Baseball Factory Team One South.

For Cleveland head coach Ted Carson, the loss of Wyrick’s skills will be greatly missed in the 2014 season.

“He had a freak injury that resulted in surgery so we’re not going to have him this year and will miss him. He has a good bat, pitching and everything. He’s probably one of the most knowledgeable players that we’ve had in the game so he will be missed all the way around,” Carson stated.

Coach Carson has no doubts Wyrick will recover and see success as a Cougar.

“I think he’ll do fine. He’s a hard worker who is just going to get bigger and stronger as he continues on. Jake is a left-handed pitcher and throws well: Cleveland State got a good find,” Carson commented.

“He’s got good velocity and movement on his fastball. He’s got a good curveball and changeup, and has all the tools to make a great pitcher.”

Coach Policastro feels that Wyrick should be back to baseball form by the time next year’s season begins.

“I think by the time we start back up he should be close to healthy. He’ll get back into it full steam,” Policastro said.