Q and A with 2014 Eastern Illinois Commit: Ben Hughes (Tippecanoe HS)
July 17, 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.