By Owen Gotimer
Viva Loudoun College Intern
(November 13, 2013) – Stone Bridge High School pitcher Jacob “JB” Bukauskas has reclassified from junior to senior status and will now begin his baseball career at the University of North Carolina beginning in the 2014-2015 school year.
“As soon as I committed after my freshman year, we had been having talks with the coaching staff at North Carolina about graduating a year early,” the 6-foot-1 Bukauskas said. “I feel that graduating early is going to allow me to have the college athlete experience and also put me in a better position for anything that happens with baseball after college.”
Bukauskas said not everyone was on board with him committing at such a young age as they felt he had a shot of playing in the show straight out of high school.
“We were hearing from different people that we should hold out and see what the MLB draft might hold for me,” the Ashburn native said. “As a family, we decided that getting an education and playing college baseball is too important to give up.”
After the decision to choose a Division I college over entering the draft as an 18- year-old was made, Bukauskas knew his obvious choice.
“We had a lot of interest from other programs but UNC had always been at the top of my list. I chose UNC for many reasons but namely the baseball program and the great coaching staff,” said Bukauskas who was named to the Cheers Sports and Viva Loudoun All-Loudoun Team in 2013 . “They are always making runs to [the College World Series] and that’s the type of team I want to be a part of. Academics are also very important to me and my family and that was also a major factor in the decision.”
With one high school season left, Bukauskas hopes to improve upon the Bulldogs 12-13 season in 2013 and push Stone Bridge past the Northern Region quarterfinal hump they have been stuck at the last two seasons.
“We lost a lot seniors from last year but we have some strong underclassmen coming up and I am very confident that we will be competitive,” said Bukauskas who also plays for the EvoShield Canes. “I had a pretty good season last year and I hope to build off that this upcoming spring.”
Owen Gotimer is a graduate of Heritage High School in Leesburg and is currently a sophomore at Syracuse University. Follow Owen on Twitter (@BigO_Gotimer) for up-to-date college signings. Contact us if you want Owen to do an article on the college commitment of your favorite local athlete.