Jared Arnold would like nothing better than to play college baseball in the States.
And this summer went a long way toward that goal.
The 16-year-old native of Red Deer, who played for the Red Deer Midget AAA Carstar Braves, competed for Team Alberta at the Canada Cup and for the host Fort McMurray team at the Canadian U18 nationals.
“It was a great experience,” he said. “I played against a lot of good kids and the competition was outstanding.”
Arnold, who plays the outfield and pitches for the Braves, worked in relief at both national level competitions, including being the closer with Fort McMurray.
“I enjoy playing the outfield as well, but they wanted me to pitch,” he said.
There were a number of college scouts at both championships, especially at the Canada Cup.
“It was an opportunity to see a lot of college scouts and for them to see us and what we can do,” Arnold said, who worked in two games and pitched three innings for Team Alberta.
“The first time went well and the second was good, but could have been a bit better,” he said. “I would have got a chance to pitch a little more if we would have went on in the playoffs.”
Team Alberta posted a 3-2 record and lost out in a tie-breaker to advance.
Jared also pitched twice for Fort McMurray.
“The first was clean while I did give up a run in the second,” he explained. “But overall it was a great experience getting to close. It’s a big spot to be in, especially at a national level tournament.”
The six-foot-two, 160-pound Arnold added he would like to be a starter, but wasn’t upset being used in relief.
“I have a good fastball so they wanted to me to use that,” he said, adding he also has a curve and changeup.
Jared got into baseball when he was eight and came up through the Red Deer Minor system, with coach Randy Gehring.
“In fact he coached me my whole life and has been a great influence on me,” said Arnold. “Randy and Les McTavish.”
McTavish is the pitching coach with the Vauxhall Academy, which Jared attended last fall in an effort to further his baseball experience.
This fall he’ll remain at home and likely at St. Joseph High School and attend their newly formed baseball academy.
“It’s a great opportunity for local kids to stay at home, save some money and get good coaching. They have a great facility with batting cages and a roll-out mound.
“And as for me I want to stay home next year to graduate with my friends.”
He also plays both volleyball and basketball, which he can do at the new Red Deer Catholic school.
Arnold has received an offer to Minot State University for the fall of 2019 and is hoping to receive a few more offers.
“Minot State talked to me and offered me a chance to go down and check them out,” he said.
He doesn’t have far to go to find out about the school as several members of the Red Deer Riggers played at MSU, such as Jaret Chatwood, Denver Wik, Shayne Court, Kerry Boon and Joel Peterman.
Jared added he would like to get into kinesiology and coach kids down the road.
Arnold has at least one more summer with the Braves then hopes to play summer ball with the Red Deer Riggers.
Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter who can be reached at email@example.com