Two Wabash Valley College baseball players who have yet to play in a game for the Warriors signed scholarship forms Wednesday to play next year at NCAA Division I schools.
In a joint signing ceremony before family and teammates at Spencer Sports Center, Dane Giesler signed to play next year at Indiana State, while Phillip Deal signed to play at Louisiana Tech.
Giesler, who will play at both first base and third for the Warriors this season, is a redshirt freshman from Jasper, Ind. He missed his entire freshman season to an ACL injury, but because of the redshirt, will have three years of eligibility remaining once he gets to ISU.
“We look at Dane as possibly being a No. 3 or No. 4 hitter for us,” said WVC baseball coach Rob Fournois. “We’re blessed to have him back this year.”
Deal graduated from Cincinnati’s Moeller High School and originally signed to play at the University of Evansville, but transferred to Wabash Valley after encountering academic problems. Fournois said Deal “has really turned it around” in the classroom at WVC.
Deal “should be a rotational pitcher for us and a leader for us,” Fournois said.
Giesler said he also had offers from Dayton and Murray State before settling on the Sycamores because “it was the best fit for me academically and for my family.”
He said he wasn’t worried that his injury would damage his chances to land a four-year scholarship. “Really no worries, but it was tough not playing at all last season. Getting back into the swing of things over the summer was a little rough,” Giesler said.
Deal had his reasons for choosing Louisiana Tech. “Warm weather helped, along with (playing in) one of the best conferences in America (Conference USA) and hopefully becoming a weekend starter (primary) for them,” he said.
Cincinnati, Xavier, and Miami, Ohio were other schools Deal considered.