By Anthony Schlass, Current Staff
West junior Nathan Burns has verbally committed to play baseball at Oregon State University.
Burns has played two seasons for West under Coach Albrecht. “Nathan is a very hard worker who works year round at his game,” Albrecht said.
Oregon State fell in love with Burns, a right-handed pitcher, when he attended the Future Games where the best high school baseball players who are uncommitted attend. The games were played in Indiana in July.
Burns performed at a high level and was able to shine in the midst of all the talent in Indiana. “He has God-given gifts to be an outstanding pitcher with three different pitches that he has pretty good mastery over. He’s unlike a lot of other high school pitchers that have come along because he can throw three pitches,” Albrecht said.
At the time Burns was one of only a few Wisconsin players in the class of 2017 to be committed. The short list consisted of Burns and Zach Clayton, an infielder who plays for Oconomowoc. Clayton also committed to Oregon State.
When asked about whether location played a role in his decision, Burns said, “Location didn’t have much of a factor. Oregon State is a 31-hour drive away and it’s going to be tough to get used to but I was looking for the best fit for me, wherever that was.”
Oregon State is a thriving baseball program that plays in the Pac-12 Conference. “My favorite thing was the coaching staff. They’ve got a great staff out there and I have a great relationship with all of them. The campus, being the Northwest part of the country, is beautiful,” Burns said.
The recruiting process is different for each athlete. “The recruiting process was good for me. It was a great time in my life, stressful at times, but I had a really hard decision to make in the end and I feel like I made the right one,” Burns said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity I have there.”
Burns was a hot topic and on many coaches’ radars. “I had been in contact with a number of coaches and schools but my final list was Oklahoma State, Oregon State, Arkansas, Michigan and Missouri,” Burns said.
Burns has two years to develop as a baseball player before he starts his career at Oregon State. As he grows under the expertise of Coach Albrecht, Burns and the rest of the Spartan baseball team are looking to make some noise this summer.
(Photographs courtesy of Nathan Burns.)