Prep Baseball Report

Inside the Recruitment: '15 RHP Sam Rice commits to Ashland

Sam Rice, RHP, Watterson, Class of 2015 

PBR: Why did you choose Ashland?

Rice: I chose Ashland because it was the best fit for me academically
and athletically.  I feel at home at Ashland, it’s a place that I see
myself having an amazing college experience.  The coaching staff at
Ashland is incredible, Coach Schaly has a tremendous passion for the game and it shows all the time.  Coach Hilt actually works out with
his pitchers, he gets up in the morning, lifts and runs with his guys
which I think is amazing for a coach to do that.  I do not know Coach
Rowland as well but from the conversations I have had with him he as
well loves what he does and wants to make his guys he best they can
be.  Another factor was that it was close to home so that my parents could come watch me play.  Everything about Ashland was just right and I know that I made the right decision.

PBR: What other schools were you considering?

Rice: I had offers from, Seton Hill, Lake Erie, UMBC (D1) and Tiffin I also made visits to Saginaw Valley State and Xavier.  When it came down to it my decision was between Ashland, UMBC and Seton Hill.

PBR: Where did the Coach Schaly first see you? How did your relationship develop with him?

Rice: Coach Schaly first saw me at the Ashland prospect camp the fall after my sophomore year.  After the camp I took a visit, with Chris Slavik, in December before my junior year.  After that Coach Patton, who is now at Tiffin, came to see me pitch a game in the Spring season.  I stayed in touch with Coach Schaly via email throughout the whole process.  Coach Hilt then called me expressing their interest in me when he got the job as pitching coach.  After their most recent camp I went back for another visit and sat down with Coach Schaly, Hilt and Rowland and that's when they gave me the offer.  I respect all three coaches greatly and I am honored to get to play for them.

PBR: Ashland is making several new upgrades to their baseball facility. How much of a role did that play in your decision?

Rice: Their facilities are great but it is not what I based my decision on.  I loved the campus as a whole.

PBR: Now that you have your commitment out of the way, what are your goals both individually and for the team for the rest of your senior season?

Rice: Individually my goals are to become stronger and more explosive on the mound.  As for Watterson our goals are to win the CCL for the second year in a row and to get past the District Championship Game. Losing a third time in the District Championship game is something we are hoping to get passed this year.

PBR: Your high school teammate, Chris Slavik, just committed to Ashland.  How much of an influence did he have in your decision?

Rice:  I had talked to Slav about going to Ashland together but when I made my commitment he was not sure where he would be going.  Slav and I have been playing together since we were 10 so it will be great to play with him in college.  He is a great friend and a heck of a pitcher too.

PBR: What team do you play for in the summer and what is your most memorable experience?

Rice: I played for the Midwest Marlins and Ohio Elite over the summer. I had great times in the summer but my most memorable experience was winning the CCL last year with Watterson.  The team we had last year at Watterson was the closest I had ever been to a team.

PBR: What were your stats for last spring?

Rice: 57 IP 7-2 1.21 ERA 42k 12 Walks

PBR: Who is the toughest hitter that you have faced in Ohio?

Rice: The toughest Hitter I faced was my team mate last year Sam Severance.  No matter what you threw him he put the bat on the ball.