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Pitman baseball's Carrigg and Evans accept D-I scholarships
pitman signings
Pitman High baseball's Colton Evans and Matt Carrigg sign their respective letters of intent on Thursday to play Division I college ball. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ / The Journal

Very few teammates, let alone close friends, get to share a dream together.

Well it happened on Thursday at Pitman High.

A pair of Pride baseball standouts will be moving on to the compete at the collegiate level after both signed their letters of intent to attend their respective schools.

That dream was made possible when Pitman's Matt Carrigg and Colton Evans each committed to their respective Division-I programs.

Carrigg, who announced his decision to retract his commitment to University of Pacific at the start of the summer, has found a new home at the University of Portland, while Evans made a childhood dream a reality by signing to University of California, Davis.

“I am extremely blessed. I am so appreciative of everything right now and for all the people who came out to support us, I am just so pumped to play college ball... that's it,” said Carrigg.

“All I wanted to do was play college baseball... my dream came true to get the opportunity and I am very grateful for UC Davis giving me this opportunity, I really am,” said Evans. “When they offered, it motivated me to work even harder because they were giving me the scholarship, I felt like it was time to really start working.”

Day in and day out, the once 5-foot-5, 105 pounder Evans, worked to hone and perfect his skills to the best of his ability.

It has all paid off for the three-time varsity player who was also the Pride leadoff hitter last season as a junior and has made the 1st team All-CCC team the last two years.

“I think a lot is the way I was raised, to work hard on the baseball field or in the classroom and working hard at being a better person and that is just the kind of person I am,” said Evans. “I give baseball everything I have when I am out there.”

The work has not been just done on the field, as Evans recalls the countless hours he spent either in the classroom or hitting the books studying to achieve his current 3.38 grade-point-average.

Along with weight training, batting practices and the extra hours put into training for baseball, Evans has finally achieved something he set out for, proving that anything is possible if you give that extra effort and stay consistent—which is probably one of the most difficult things to do.

“Coming in I knew I was undersized so I had to work extra hard and I saw the progress but I was never content, I always wanted to improve and get better and its paid off and I am super grateful,” Evans added.

Since Carrigg stepped on to the baseball field, it seemed like the prodigy was set out to be successful while playing ball.

A unique player, who is not the tallest or biggest, but the most enthusiastic and without question a leader on the field.

Carrigg is heading into his fourth year at the varsity level, something not common, and heads into the season with a GPA of 3.95, making him a three-year scholar athlete.

As a freshman, Carrigg batted .319 and since then he has only gotten better.

As a sophomore in varsity, he was already looking like a captain and one of the top players in the area, batting .358 for the year and boasting a staggering ERA of 1.12, limiting the opposing hitters to a batting average of .161.

Last year, Carrigg reached a different level with his batting ability, amassing a .493 average along with a slugging percentage of .753.

“I am a lot more experienced and coach [John] Acha has done a great job with me,” said Carrigg of his high school coach. “He is a great coach and does amazing things with his players, he has also shown me to be a better man, not just a better player, on and off the field. Sometimes I let my emotions get the best of me and sometimes it's my worst enemy, but he keeps me calm and in check.”

Carrigg's trip to a Division-I program seemed set and stone when he verbally committed to UOP after his freshman year, but a significant change in the coaching staff this past summer had Carrigg rethinking his decision.

“Really the reason I had to choose another school was because UOP hired a new coach,” said Carrigg. “He had never seen me play before so I knew I wasn't necessarily, 'his guy' so I felt like it was the best thing for me to do and I found the right fit in Portland.”

The first game for the Pitman Pride is scheduled against Oakdale at 11 a.m. Feb. 27, 2016.

“This year I hope I can do whatever I can to be a leader on the field and help Coach Acha to the best of my abilities and maybe get that CCC Championship again,” Carrigg added. “Maybe make it a little further into Sections and help out the young ones.”