curveball teammates affectionately call “the hammer”, Wagner has become
one of the more dominant pitchers in Southeast Ohio. It comes as no
surprise that Wagner has decided to take his talents to the next level.
Boasting an above average fastball, effective change-up, and a curveball teammates affectionately call “the hammer”, Wagner has become one of the more dominant pitchers in Southeast Ohio. For those who have followed the career of the Warriors stout hurler, it comes as no surprise that Wagner has decided to take his talents to the next level.
On Wednesday April 16th, before family, friends, teammates and coaches, Wagner made it official signing a letter of intent to play collegiate baseball with the Yellow Jackets of West Virginia State.
Wagner, a senior, has served as staff ace for the Warriors this season while also carrying a bit of the load offensively in the middle of the order. Recently the right-hander picked up his team leading fourth victory of the season, adding another tally to his already impressive resume. Boasting a 25-3 cumulative record and a paltry 1.32 ERA this season, Wagner has become the latest in a line of products from the western Washington County high school.
Wagner shunned requests from various Division I schools, opting to sign with the D-II school feeling as if West Virginia State was a better fit for him athletically and academically.
“They really had a lot to offer me as a player. Coach Bailey has been there for 30 years now and they have won 30 or more games a few years in a row. Around the state they are considered a powerhouse and at the school they treat it like one. It is a program that I felt comfortable coming in to, and it looks like a place I can make a difference at in my freshman year.”
West Virginia State, a member of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC), has long been baseball royalty in the Mountain State, playing in the DII regional tournament ten of the last twelve years, winning the league tournament last season after posting a 45-9 record.
Managed by legendary coach and former Pittsburgh Pirates farmhand Cal Bailey, the Yellow Jackets have had 18 players drafted by major league clubs, and have had countless others sign professional contracts.
Wagner hopes to be important part of the Yellow Jacket’s formidable staff next season.
“They brought in a real good class along with myself, and it looks like there will be some good competition for spots. My goals are to compete for a spot in the rotation the day I get there.”
Current Warren coach Jeff Bradford feels Wagner made a decision that will serve him well in the coming years, and will benefit West Virginia State.
“Daniel made a good decision, West Virginia State is a real good program and Coach Bailey knows his stuff. Daniel is a great player, works hard, knows how to play the game, Coach Bailey is getting a great player and a great kid.”
With his college choice having been made, Wagner now finds it eager to focus on the Warriors upcoming tournament run.
“It feels like there was a weight taken off my shoulders. I was putting some pressure on myself out there, and now that the decision has been made and the process is over with I can really give more to my teammates.”
With Wagner now singularly focused on the season and the recruiting process has finally concluded, there is no doubt that with Wagner on the hill, the Warriors will be a tough out in the tournament this May.