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Yuba City High ace inks letter with Oregon State
Honkers' Eden set to take on Pac-12
It was a long journey for Chandler Eden, a journey that comprised of 12 years in baseball.
As he inked his name to a scholarship that will secure a collegiate education while playing Division-I baseball, Eden was overwhelmed as he considered how much had led up to this moment.
From Sutter Buttes Little League, to now being ranked among the top 100 baseball recruits in the country according to Baseball America, Eden's baseball career isn't culminating with this signing — it's only getting started.
The Yuba City High senior right-handed pitcher agreed to a Division-I baseball scholarship with Oregon State on Wednesday, signing a National Letter of Intent and celebrating the milestone in front of a contingent of family, friends and supporters at Honker Gym on Thursday.
Eden joins a storied tradition of Yuba City baseball players that have moved on to the Division-I level.
As per recent tradition, the event was MC'd by Yuba City High teacher/Sutter County District 4 Supervisor Jim Whiteaker with speeches given by Yuba City Mayor John Miller and YCUSD Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Tom Walters.
The Beavers compete in the Pacific-12 Conference, considered one of the premier conferences in college baseball. Oregon State won back-to-back College World Series championships in 2006 and 2007. The Beavers have played in the postseason in seven of the last eight seasons.
The 6-foot-1, 165-pounder garnered the attention of Oregon State while pitching for his Oroville Post 95 American Legion team in Auburn over the summer. Beavers pitching coach Nate Yeskie was scouting a player from the Post 182 Fairfield Expos squad, but after a 16-strikeout performance by Eden, Yeskie was recruiting the Honkers' lanky right-hander.
"I first went up (to Oregon State) over the summer and took an unofficial visit and had a really good time," Eden said. "I loved the campus, loved the facilities, so that's when I realized I really wanted to go there."
Goss Stadium at Coleman Field in Corvallis, Ore., is one of the gems in college baseball when it comes to facilities.
Eden took his official visit to Corvallis with his father Lincoln on Nov. 3 to watch the Beavers take down Arizona State in football. He gave his commitment and signed the letter on Wednesday.
Coach Pat Casey has been the man behind this Beavers program for 17 seasons. Eden met Casey and said he was one the "nicest guys he's ever met."
Eden also said he was impressed with Casey and the entire coaching staff's knowledge of the game. That was another major selling point.
Per NCAA rules, Oregon State's coaching staff was not allowed to comment on this signing.
"I love the school, the college-town atmosphere and how I'll get the full college experience because they have football, basketball and baseball," Eden said. "I think it's a really good opportunity, because at Oregon State I'll have a chance to go to Regionals, Super Regionals and maybe the College World Series one day."
Eden was instrumental in Yuba City's Tri-County Conference championship last season. He went 7-1 with two saves in 512⁄3 innings of work with a 2.03 ERA and a team-high 63 strikeouts.
His postseason accolades included a first-team All-TCC and A-D All-Area selection along with an All-Metro honorable mention from the Sacramento Bee.
His repertoire consists of a live fastball that hovers between 88-92 mph and a sharp 12-6 curve ball. Eden credited Yuba City pitching coach Dusty Decker for correcting some mechanical flaws and helping him become a better pitcher.
"He's improved on all levels," Decker said. "From just the character makeup of the kid, to the physical attributes, he's gotten a lot stronger. We tweaked some minor things and saw substantial results.
"He's been a dream player to coach."
Decker also said Eden physically has even more room to grow over the next few years which will only add to his rising stock as a player.
Yuba City coach Dave Rodriguez coached Eden's freshman team in 2010 and last year's varsity squad.
He summed up Eden's tenacity with a story about when Eden was a freshman and took a line drive off of his face. He was back in the batter's box the very next day.
That type of determination, Rodriguez said, is why Eden will succeed at the next level.
"The sky's the limit for Chandler," Rodriguez said. "He works hard, always has. Seeing how hard he works and the work he's put in ... he hasn't even reached his potential yet.
"He's really something special."