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Sandia High pitcher will play for 2018 national champs

For the last few years, Jacob Kmatz has had a keen interest in the baseball program at Oregon State University.

When his playing career is over at Sandia High School, Kmatz will become a Beaver himself, as the Matadors’ hard-throwing junior right-handed pitcher has given a verbal commitment to play for Oregon State, the 2018 Division I World Series champion.

“It came down to many things,” said the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Kmatz. “I wanted a good college town and Corvallis is that. And they’re very supportive of their baseball team. They’ve had great success. That’s where I want to be.”

Kmatz, who also plays outfield for Sandia, is the second Matador to make a verbal commitment to a national program in recent weeks. Aiden May, also part of the Class of 2021, has committed to Wichita State.

Kmatz said he had eight official scholarship offers, including one from the University of New Mexico. But once Oregon State offered, “when the opportunity came,” he said, “I couldn’t pass it up.”

Kmatz is the second athlete from Albuquerque to commit to a 2018 D1 national champion this month, following Marcus Garcia, a junior soccer forward from St. Pius who has verbaled to Maryland.

n Also of note, former La Cueva shortstop Jack Pineda will be transferring from the College of Southern Nevada to Baylor. He was a four-year standout for the Bears.

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