CHANDLER – The 2020 high school baseball season was going to be one for many of Arizona’s top players to showcase their talents and attract attention at the next level.
The rise of COVID-19 cases changed that. Headaches and heartbreak followed as seasons were canceled after just seven games.
It wasn’t easy for Hamilton Huskies pitcher Logan Saloman. But the junior right-hander is grateful he still has two more seasons to highlight his talents and thrilled he has quieted the recruiting process with his commitment to Arizona State.
“I actually wasn’t a big fan of the recruitment process in the beginning, ” Saloman said. “As I started narrowing down my options and found the coaches I really liked, the process was much nicer.”
Saloman was a much coveted recruit. He was not only a state champion pitcher as a freshman, but he emerged as one of the nation’s top talents and had the opportunity to represent his country and play for Team USA.
Even though he is just a junior, Saloman is regarded as a team leader because of his varsity experience, especially by coach Mike Woods and his staff.
“This is his third year on varsity, he has seniority,” Woods said. “He knows that, and he does a great job leading by example.”
With early success comes a great deal of attention and publicity.
That doesn’t seem to bother Saloman.
“He is great at blocking those kinds of things out,” Woods said “He may be one of the most composed guys we’ve had.”
That steadiness helped capture the attention of Team USA’s 15U team.
“Team USA was a great experience all around, from amazing teammates to coaches and also the teams we played were full of amazing talent as well,” he said.
His talents quickly attracted widespread attention.
Schools such as Arizona, ASU, UCLA, Oregon and defending national champion Vanderbilt are just some that were interested in the young ace. As his recruitment went on, those were the schools Saloman considered to be his Top 5.
For many athletes, receiving numerous offers is the fun part of the recruitment process. For others, it can be a lot to consume.
Thankfully for Saloman, the stress of recruitment came to an end in late November when he committed to the ASU.
“My husband and I are so blessed and beyond excited. We will get to see 24 home games,” said April Saloman, his mother.
“What parent wouldn’t be excited to see their kid play the next level of competition less than 25 miles away from their hometown.”
One of the positives about staying home to play college baseball is the opportunity to have your high school coaches available for advice when needed.
“Great program, and he stays in town so his family can be part of his experience and I will be able to follow him easier, too,” Woods said.
Now that Saloman is committed and has achieved his goal to play at the next level, he is focused on helping his team prepare for the upcoming season, which at one point was in doubt due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. The state’s spring sports season is set to open March 15.
Saloman said the Huskies “have been practicing for a while now out of sixth hour during school and we’ve been getting in some games these past few weekends as well as scrimmaging every couple of weeks to keep things competitive.”
“Our ballplayers at Hamilton need to be able to play this season,” April said. “Many of these young athletes have trained for the next level of competition for many years. Now, they deserve the opportunity to play this spring.”
Hamilton has had one of Arizona’s top high school baseball programs since the school opened in 1998. Under the leadership of Woods, the Huskies have won seven state championships since 2003.
With the season nearing its start, Logan and his and his Hamilton teammates have one thing in mind: a return to the state championship that will give the program’s seniors the best goodbye to high school baseball.
“ To keep it short and simple, winning a state championship is our goal,” he said.