Rockwall-Heath pitcher has a day to remember

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by GEORGE RIBA

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WFAA

Posted on June 7, 2012 at 9:38 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 7 at 11:53 PM

HEATH - The baseball team from Rockwall-Heath High School had a rousing send off for their trip to Round Rock on Wednesday.

After reaching the regional finals three years in a row, this year they finally made it to the state tournament.

"Our goal was not to win the district," said Greg Harvey, Rockwall-Heath baseball coach. "Our goal was not to advance deep into the playoffs; our goal was to win the state championship. We've given ourselves an opportunity to go and achieve that now."

Getting to the state tournament is a milestone for this program, and so is having a player taken in Major League Baseball's amateur draft. The main reason for both is senior pitcher Jake Thompson.

Thompson was taken by the Detroit Tigers with their first pick in the second round. He was the 91st player chosen in this year’s draft.

"I think it could be a good fit," Thompson said. "They've always had good pitchers. They have a really good minor league system. It should be fun."

Being draft Tuesday was only part of his unforgettable day because later he attended his high school graduation ceremony wearing a Tigers hat, two monumental events on one important day.

"I woke up this morning kind of felt like Bill Murray in 'Ground Hog Day,' said Keith Thompson, Jake's father. "I wanted to relive yesterday over and over again. It was pretty cool."

Thompson's next big decision is whether to sign with the Tigers organization or play college baseball at TCU.

"Everybody has their own opinion and Jake is going to be presented with a good opportunity and he's going to have to decide what's best for him long term," said TCU baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle

"I think being chosen by a winning organization or an organization that's known for developing young players is pretty impactful on him," his father said. "I think there is a good chance that might be the route he goes."

"This weekend I’ll probably sit down and go over all the numbers and all that stuff," Jake said.

First he'll try to help his team win a state championship in Round Rock.

E-mail griba@wfaa.com

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