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Newport pitchers Cole Wiper, Jared Fisher sign National Letters of Intent | Prep Baseball
Newport baseball coach Hal DeBerry knows he's a lucky man.
He was reminded of it Wednesday afternoon, as he watched two of his senior pitchers, Jared Fisher and Cole Wiper, sign National Letters of Intent to play Pac-10 baseball next season.
"To be able to have one player in your program who can do that is very fortunate as a coach, but to be able to have two, that is something that is very special," DeBerry said. "That speaks to the ability that these guys have."
Fisher, a 6-foot-4 right-handed pitcher, signed with the University of Washington, while Wiper, also a 6-foot-4 righty, signed with the University of Oregon.
For Fisher, who went 3-4 with 36 strikeouts last year, the choice was easy. He said he considered (and made visits to) Washington State, Gonzaga, Oregon State and Oregon, but in the end his choice was obvious.
"I couldn't go wrong with any of those schools, but I couldn't picture myself playing for any other team but Washington," he said. "I couldn't imagine playing against the Huskies. I liked Oregon a lot, but in my heart, it was always Washington."
It was a bit different for Wiper, who went 5-0 last year. The son of two UW graduates, Oregon was always the clear favorite.
"The summer before my junior year, I went to a camp at Oregon and impressed the coaches there," he said, moments after signing the official letter of intent. "I just decided that because of the coaches and the quality of the program, that it was the best place for me."
Both players figure to be important cogs for the Knights this spring as they attempt to return to the Class 4A state tournament. The team finished in the final four in 2008 and started out 8-0 last year before going just 6-9 the rest of the way, falling in the KingCo 4A league tournament.
"They've worked hard and have obviously shown other people that they have what it takes to move on, not only to the next level but to the Pac-10," DeBerry said. "I think that speaks for itself in my eyes, because for me, it's the best college conference in the country."
Both players said they hope to get Newport over the hump next season and back to the state playoffs, hoping for a start like last season, but sustaining it throughout the playoffs.
The present teammates do envision a future matchup, however, seeing as how they will, in a years time, stand in opposing uniforms.
"It's going to be fun, but it will be weird," Fisher said. "It'd be awesome if we started against each other in a year or two."