FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The University of Arkansas baseball team attained 15 players throughout the early signing period, as publicized on Nov. 13, by head coach Dave Van Horn.
Catcher Nathan Rodriguez of Yorba Linda, Calif., was one of those players and in an interview with College Baseball Central on Thursday opened up as to why he chose “Hog Nation”.
“There were two reasons I chose Arkansas,” Rodriguez said. “I love the country, and I want to know that every year I’m competing for a national title.”
Rodriguez picked a great school for that, seeing as “The Diamond Hogs” have been to 25 NCAA tournaments, and seven College World Series including 1979, 1985, 1987, 1989, 2004, 2009, and 2012.
“The coaching staff is unbelievable, and they have supported me all the way through my career,” the 18 year old Orange California native stated. “It was a great experience when I visited, and I am looking forward to playing there next year.”
Rodriguez will be playing at one of the most fan crazed universities in the country, when he laces up his cleats for the first time in 2015 at Baum Stadium at George Cole Field. This is the home venue of the Arkansas Razorbacks baseball team of the NCAA Division I Southeastern Conference, located in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
The playing field itself is named George Cole Field, in rectitude of the former Arkansas athletic director. George Cole Field was also the name of the Razorbacks’ previous home stadium, in use from 1975 to March 1996. Baum Stadium supplanted George Cole Field in April 1996. The stadium is positioned one-half mile from the main Arkansas campus, which lies across Razorback Road from the stadium.
“The fans are what get me going about this university,” Rodriguez added. “I love that kind of environment and I’m going to do everything I can to get behind that plate, and win a National Championship when we get to Omaha, and get that ring.”
Rodriguez has nice defensive projection and could be a great backstop for the Razorbacks under the development of the Arkansas staff. He batted .392 with 7 RBI(s) 3 SB(s) and .500 OBP (Varsity totals).