BY DUDLEY E. DAWSON
Nine Arkansas Sticks and University of Arkansas baseball commits will get in some diamond action in Arizona this weekend while donning Chicago White Sox uniforms.
The 3n2 Sticks Baseball 18-and-under Brewster squad, now playing as a White Sox scout team, will be participating in the 2023 Martin Luther King West Championship beginning Friday in Phoenix.
The Razorback commits are 2023 standouts Ty Waid of Texarkana Kade Smith of Harding Academy and Walker Martin of Eaton, Colo., two Fayetteville 2025 prospects in Jaison Delemar and Landon Schaefer, Valley View 2024 prospect Lawson Ward and Olathe (Kan.) 2024 star Cameron Carter and the Pleasant Grove (Texas) duo of 2024 pledge Brenton Clark and 2026 commit Spencer Browning.
Sticks owner and head coach Chase Brewster will lead his team into the games being held at Camelback Ranch, spring training home of the White Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“It is just such a unique situation,” Brewster said. “We get to represent the state of Arkansas, which loves amateur sports so much and has such a huge passion, especially for Razorback commits. Add in the fact that you get to represent a Major League Baseball organization on top of that, and one in the Midwest makes it even more surreal at times.
“We have an abundance of pride in being the Sticks and what we have built. I think we have always represented Arkansas at a high level and in a first class manner on an off the field. It is a reward for our players to get to wear those big league jerseys
The Sticks got their first chance to don the White Sox gear in September in Jupiter, Fla., the spring training home of the St. Louis Cardinals and Florida Marlins.
“Getting to represent the White Sox and the state of Arkansas and the Sticks in Jupiter was a blessing,” Brewster said. “The new thing right now for the kids is all the teams want to play for a scout team, to be one of the 8 or 10 teams that get to represent a Major League Baseball program.
“It was a little surreal. We got to wear all the gear and got to use the Marlins clubhouse, one of only two teams in the 100-team event that got to use the clubhouse and the cages.
“I think the kids had a first-class treatment and played really, really well, but unfortunately we had to face the (Toronto) Blue Jays scout team, which has the number one player in 2025 – Noah Franco, a left hander committed to Mississippi State – who pitched against us.
“…We battled to go 5-2 and beat some really good teams.”
Brewster praised the recruiting efforts of Arkansas assistants coaches Nate Thompson and Matt Hobbs.
“I think we had 31 players and 8 of them are Razorback commits,” Brewster said. “Overall, all of them played really well. I think any time almost a third of your team is committed to Arkansas, you know your are going to have a chance to win and shows you that Nate and Matt are recruiting nothing but really good players right now.”
The Sticks have had success in this tournament.
“We have won it twice out there in Phoenix and this will be our first time back since Covid,” Brewster said. “Now that we have the partnership with them (the White Sox) , it is really exciting and now more of their front office guys will get to see how we do things and get to keep the communication open with them.
“It has been more than just a promotional piece. They have really been hands on and we have had good conversations with them about players and events. They have just been an absolute joy to work with.
“They are doing everything they can to get any insight into amateur baseball to make sure they are getting good people as well as good players.”