Spikes 15u player signed to Wright State
It was in seventh grade when A.J. Ewing started going to baseball camps at Wright State.
“It’s only 15 minutes away from home,” Ewing reasoned.
Now a freshman at Springboro, Ohio’s fifth-rated 2023 went to a prospect camp in the fall as his curiosity in the Horizon League school mounted.
“I heard nothing,” Ewing related about no sign of interest from Wright State after the event.
However, that changed a month ago when the second-ranked freshman shortstop in the state went to another camp at a college that has been in the NCAA baseball tournament three of the past five years. An offer came soon after and the 5-10 160-pound left-handed-hitting infielder accepted.
“They like my bat and my speed is a big plus for them,” noted Ewing. “They see me projecting out as a middle infield guy.”
Ewing really took a liking to Wright State at the camp.
“We took a tour of the baseball facilities when I was there and I also really clicked with the coaches,” Ewing explained. “I didn’t want to leave and go too far from home. I don’t want any distractions. I want to focus on baseball and school work.”
The exposure came early for the 15-year-old.
“PBR showcases helped get my numbers out there,’ pointed out Ewing, whose most recent event was the Fall Limited Series II in October at … Wright State. “The Future Games really helped a lot. Wright State was there and watched me.”
Other interest came at that point in time
“Right after the Future Games I talked with Tennessee on the phone and I went there to a camp,” Ewing related. “It’s a nice school, but I wanted to go where I think can get me drafted.”
Wright State fit that description in the eyes of Ewing, who also was getting looks from Cincinnati.
“Since I started playing baseball, playing in college is what I thought I wanted to do,” Ewing reflected. “I wanted to do whatever I could to take me there. When I was playing 13U ball I knew I had something. I was becoming more athletic, I started hitting well and I was doing better against good competition.”
Improved speed helped the cause according to Ewing.
“If you’re fast, that’s a big plus,” Ewing noted. “I went from a 7.5 (60) in the middle of eighth grade to where I was down to a sub 7.0 with a 6.9 at Wright State. So that’s a big factor.”
It is just one area of the game that Ewing feels he can exhibit once he becomes part of a college program.
“I think my leadership skills will play there,” Ewing said. “And my bat will definitely play. But I need to work on my arm strength and fielding.”
Current plans are to play corner outfield at Springboro as a freshman before likely moving to his more natural position in the middle infield sophomore year.
“I definitely need to improve my arm strength,” Ewing said of what his biggest desire is before getting to Wright State.”I need to get to 85 across the infield or go to the other side of the diamond (as a second baseman).”
There are other areas to work on as well for Ewing, a third baseman much of the past two years who this past weekend hit 82 on infield velocity at the PBR Preseason All-State Underclass Showcase.
“Barrelling the balls more consistently is another thing I need to improve upon,” Ewing said. “And I definitely need to keep working on my speed.”
A father and coaches who “pushed me to work harder” are the biggest influences in his game reaching the current level according to Ewing, who admitted to following the recruiting process of others his age.
“At first I saw a lot of guys in my grade nationally that were going (committing) last summer,” Ewing said. “It motivated me a little. If they’re getting offers, some of these schools didn’t see me. It pushed me to work even harder than what I was doing.
“When I got interest from Tennessee around four months ago and started talking with them I started thinking I’m up there with them.”
Then Wright State entered the picture.
“It’s been my number one school I’ve wanted to go to since last year,” Ewing noted. “I started doing research on schools and saw on social media that players and everyone liked it. I’ve never heard one bad thing about Wright State.”