EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — For the past 15 years, the Central Illinois Outlaws youth baseball program has helped develop over 100 players into college baseball athletes. This summer will be extra critical for the Class of 2021 players who did not have a high school season to showcast their talents.
“Everyone’s goal in this program is to go Divison I, and it’s hard to do that when you don’t have a junior season,” Limestone senior Travis Lutz said. “Getting the chance to play in the summer is critical, so that’s a big plus there.”
The Outlaws have teams in three different age groups, all of which have tournaments scheduled to start in July. These tournaments will provide players a great opportunity to play in front of college scouts.
“Just going out there and playing in front of colleges and tyring to get to that next level, that’s been my dream for a while,” Metamora senior Bryce Bishop said. “If it doesn’t come, that would suck, but I think we are pretty confident that we are going to be able to play.”
“You look behind the backstop and you got a bunch of college coaches back there watching you play,” Washington senior Josh Heyder said. “The Outlaws do a great job of getting us there and putting us in front of college coaches.”
“It’s a different time for recruiting now with the NCAA granting everyone an extra year of eligibility, it’s going to be that much more on us to create a new way for us to get these kids in front of college coaches,” Outlaws Recruiting Coordinator Ben Diggle said.
And hopefully that process starts with games being played this summer.