It's the little things Bartlett senior catcher Mike Roberson does behind the plate that caught the eye of Ball State baseball recruiting coordinator Scott French.
Roberson was playing with his summer-league team in a tournament at Butler University in Indianapolis when French spotted him. French phoned Roberson later that day to invite him to Ball State's summer camp, where he continued to impress the Cardinals' staff.
Ball State made Roberson an offer two weeks later and he verbally committed during a late-October visit to the Muncie, Ind. campus., He chose Ball State over offers to play Division-I junior college baseball in Texas and California.
"I just loved everything about it," Roberson said of his visit. "Everything there just caught my attention. I loved the way the field looked."
"He turned to me during the visit and said, 'I can really see myself here for the next four years,' " said his father, Mike Roberson, Sr.
Roberson appeared in 22 games last season for the Class 4A regional champion Hawks. His most valuable contributions were behind the plate. He backstopped all 3 Bartlett regional victories, including an upset of top-seeded Geneva, and a sectional semifinal game.
"Mike's contributions behind the plate were vital to our success late in the season," Bartlett coach Chris Pemberton said. "His defensive ability behind the plate to work with pitchers, block balls and throw out runners were traits that earned him a spot in the 2012 Stevenson High School Junior Showcase and gained attention among high school as well as college coaches."
Roberson will play for Richard Maloney, who returns to coach Ball State this season after 10 years as head coach at the University of Michigan.
"I'm hoping with a new coach that I get an opportunity to play," Roberson said. "They told me I'm probably one of the most talented players they have catching-wise. I'm going to give it everything I have."
Roberson, who carries a 3.2 grade-point average, said he is undecided as to his area of study at this time.