BY DUDLEY E. DAWSON
It turns out there will be two future Arkansas pitchers participating in the Perfect Game All-American Game on Aug. 28 at the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chase Field.
Altos (Calif.) standout Gabe Gaeckle (5-11, 180), who committed to the Razorbacks over the weekend, will join fellow right hander Dylan Questad (6-0, 200) of Waterford, Wisc., as two of the 62 participants in the game.
It will be televised by ESPNU at 7 p.m. CST.
Gaeckle, whose fast ball touched 97 during a recent performance at the Area Codes Games, was previously committed to UCLA.
But the Bruins’ decision to switch from the Pac 12 to the Big 10 didn’t go over well with Gaeckle.
“It came out of nowhere and I didn’t feel good about it,” Gaeckles told.
Gaeckle, who was 4-0 this season with a 1.03 ERA, 92 strikeouts in 40 2/3 innings with 19 walks and 21 hits allowed.
He also hit .373 (31 for 83) as junior with seven doubles five home runs, 24 RBIs and 31 runs and was named the Santa Cruz Athletic League MVP.
Gaeckle also considered Texas A&M, but he chose to put his trust in Arkansas pitching coach Matt Hobbs, a coach he first met as an eighth grader during a camp.
“I truly believe they have one of the best pitching coaches in the nation so I believe it’s the spot for me,” Gaeckle said.
That combined with Arkansas status as one of the nation’s elite programs made the choice easy to join a team that has been to 11 College World Series, nine under current head coach Dave Van Horn.
“I’m excited to play for one of the top teams in the country,” Gaeckle said. “They’re always a top team. They’ve proven themselves. It’s gonna be a fun experience.”
Gaeckle is ranked as the 38th-best prospect in the 2023 class by Perfect Game and is also a member of Team USA’s Under 18 National Team.