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updated: 6/7/2012 10:47 PM

Hoffman Estates' Roberts picks Truman State

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  • Mark Roberts, woh just finished his senior year at Hoffman Estates, will be going to Division II Truman State University to play baseball.

       Mark Roberts, woh just finished his senior year at Hoffman Estates, will be going to Division II Truman State University to play baseball.
    George Leclaire | Staff Photographer

 

Pitching became a priority for Mark Roberts midway through his four-year varsity baseball career at Hoffman Estates.

So, Roberts liked that Truman State University head coach Dan Davis had a six-year stint as a pitching coach at Northern Iowa before that program disbanded. As a result the right-hander who just graduated from Hoffman recently made a commitment to the Division II program in Kirksville, Mo.

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"I like his approach to pitching and he really knows his stuff," said Roberts, who had a 4.38 weighted grade-point average on a 4.0 scale and scored 25 on the ACT. "That was an immediate draw and the school has a really good academic reputation. I'm big on academics so that was a huge plus."

The plus for Truman State is Roberts comes in with career and single-season records for strikeouts at Hoffman. He had 70 strikeouts and was 4-6 with a 2.57 ERA this spring and just threw a no-hitter last weekend for his Fox Valley Royals travel team.

"During the travel season going into my junior year I pitched pretty well and that's when I started to really, really focus on it and commit to playing at the next level," Roberts said. "I started really focusing on pitching because I didn't have the bat to play at the next level and I liked pitching more than playing a position."

Roberts said he also talked to UIC but Division I interest dissipated. He said Illinois Wesleyan was also interested but he was drawn to a Truman State progam that won 17 games in Davis' first two seasons combined (2007-08) but has won 17 and 16 the last two seasons.

"They are improving and I think they are headed in the right direction," Roberts said.

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