Prep Baseball Report

Q and A with 2014 Eastern Illinois Commit: Ben Hughes (Tippecanoe HS)

Ben Hughes, RHP/OF, Tippecanoe HS, Class of 2014

PBR: Why did you choose Eastern Illinois?

Hughes: I chose Eastern Illinois because I had an immediate connection with the coach.  I also liked the campus and facilities.  It felt like a good fit from the very beginning.

PBR: What other schools were you considering?

Hughes:  I was also considering The Ohio State University, Miami University, Ohio University, Butler and Lipscomb.

PBR: Where did the coaches first see you?  How did your relationship develop with them?

Hughes: The coaches first saw me on videos that I sent them via email.  They really liked what they saw so they contacted me and my high school coach.  Then, the relationship continued to develop from there. 

PBR: Was distance from home a factor in your decision?

Hughes: The distance from home was a little bit of a factor.  I wanted to be able to come home some on the weekends to see the family and they wanted to come and watch me play.

PBR: What role do the coaches expect you to play your first year on campus?

Hughes: The coaches expect me to be a contributor as a freshman on the mound.  They expect me to be fighting for a spot in the starting rotation.  They will also be giving me a shot for an outfield position in the fall. 

PBR: You have participated in numerous PBR events.  How has PBR helped you with the recruiting process?

Hughes: PBR has helped me a lot along my journey.  PBR is respected by college coaches so their evaluation and ranking really helped get my name out there which is key for the recruiting process. 

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

Hughes: In the summer I play for the Miami Valley Prospects which used to be called Raptors Elite.  My most memorable experience is a combination of two things.  The first is I spent a week in Oklahoma in the Heartland Classic and played for Team Ohio.  It was an awesome experience to play all of the different states and play with a great group of baseball players.  The second is, the very next week, I went to Omaha, Nebraska with my summer team to play in a tournament and it was also the week during the College Championship Series of Vanderbilt and Virginia.  It was an incredible two weeks.

PBR: Who has had the biggest impact on you as a baseball player?

Hughes: This may sound cliché, but my mother and father have had the biggest impact on me as a baseball player.  They are very supportive and have helped me a ton during this journey.  Whether its out on the field throwing bp and hitting ground balls or its driving me from game to game, I wouldn't have been able to do it without them.

PBR: What were your stats this spring season at Tippecanoe?

Hughes:  This past spring I was 7-1 on the mound.  ERA of 0.99; 75K's, 4 saves.  During my Varsity Career I hold the Tippecanoe Record at 26-5, 259K's, 10 saves.   My Varsity batting average was 0.404, 126 hits, 108 runs, 2 HR, 98 RBI's and 54 stolen bases. 

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

Hughes:  There wasn't really one hitter that stood out.  I respected a lot of the hitters that I faced.  In every game that I pitched, I respected those hitters at that time.