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Winning's not the only thing

Posted: April 29, 2008 2:21 a.m.
Updated: June 30, 2008 5:01 a.m.
 
Hart baseball's biggest accomplishment in 2008 thus far is the team being in first place in the ultra-competitive Foothill League - to some.

But two other giant, more long-lasting accomplishments might mean a heck of a lot more.

The Indians have added three more names to its long list of future college baseball players - pitcher Casey McCarthy, right fielder Jason Rehhaut and outfielder/pitcher Tyler Eyrich.

And if that's not a big enough accomplishment, the Indians - currently ranked seventh in the latest CIF-Southern Section Division I poll - will be honored today at Angel Stadium.

Prior to the Angels-Oakland Athletics game in Anaheim, the Indians baseball team will be given a CIF-Southern Section Academic Award.

Hart has a team GPA of 3.583 and will receive the award for schools with enrollment of 1,501 and above.

The award is only given to two teams - one also from the 1,500 and below category.

"We take a lot of pride being strong in classroom," said Hart head coach Jim Ozella. "Being strong on the field, a lot of qualities you learn in the classroom and they pan out to what we do on the field."

Last year's Hart team finished third in the CIF-Southern Section academic category and Ozella said coming into the 2008 season, the academic award was one of the team's goals.

Rehhaut - who has a 4.5 GPA, will be the representative of the team to receive the award, being that he is a huge Angels fan.

"We want to be the best on the field and best in the classroom," Rehhaut said. "Both are team efforts. Winning the award means we're one of the best in the classroom. Now we've got to get it done on the field."

Hart has a one-game lead over Valencia in the Foothill League with four left to play.

Rehhaut, along with McCarthy and Eyrich, mark the fifth, sixth and seventh Indians to commit to college baseball programs.

Pitcher Michael Montgomery (Cal State Fullerton), shortstop Trevor Matern (University of San Francisco) and catcher Bryan Lucas and third baseman Jenzen Torres (Cal Poly Pomona) all made their commitments before the season.

Rehhaut will be playing at Claremont-McKenna - an NCAA Division III program.

Rehhaut is hitting .393 with 11 RBIs this season.

He is a .307 hitter in his varsity career.

McCarthy will join Lucas and Torres at Cal Poly Pomona - a Division II program.

A three-year varsity pitcher, McCarthy burst onto the scene with a successful sophomore season.

His junior season, though, was a lot quieter as he fell out of the two-man starting rotation. As a senior, McCarthy has been the Indians' No. 3 starter, pitching mostly on Saturday non-league games.

He's been a luxury for the Indians as Montgomery and junior Trevor Bauer have eaten up most of the Indians' 2008 innings.

McCarthy is 1-3 with a 3.42 ERA in six starts.

The 6-foot-3, 185-pound right-hander is 6-8 with a 3.03 ERA in his varsity career.

Eyrich will be playing at Division III Occidental next season. He will also be playing football, joining another former Hart player in Pat Sarkissian who has been playing both sports there for two years.

He is batting .333 this season and is 1-2 with a 1.54 ERA.

In two varsity seasons, he is 4-3 on the mound with a 1.74 ERA and is a career .352 hitter.

The 5-foot-10, 185-pound athlete made four interceptions for the Hart varsity football team in 2008 as a starting defensive back.

More importantly, though, he has a 4.79 cumulative GPA.

"We are student-athletes with a key emphasis on student," Eyrich said.

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