It’s been a busy recruiting season in Cumberland County baseball this fall already.
Add East Pennsboro’s Jake Madden to that list. The Panthers junior is the third Sentinel-area product to commit to an NCAA Division I program, announcing Oct. 28 on Twitter that he committed to South Carolina.
He joins Red Land sophomore Benny Montgomery (Virginia) and Cumberland Valley freshman Logan Sauve (West Virginia) among the local top recruits.
He said he chose the Gamecocks, who offered an undisclosed partial athletic scholarship, because it felt like the right place and “the coaching staff, most definitely.” Others on the short list seeking Madden’s services were Vanderbilt, West Virginia and North Carolina.
The right-hander said he is recruited to pitch, but does play outfield for East Pennsboro on his off days.
“It was awesome,” Madden said of his recruitment process. “It began in the district championship game [an 11-7 loss to Berks Catholic in the Class 4A final].”
Seton Hall was the first to talk to Madden at that game, he said, when he threw 90 mph. The summer recruiting only picked up and got “super hectic,” he said. SC saw him at a showcase in Fort Myers, Florida, and started talking to him shortly after.
Madden said he plans to study business, like others in his family.
He went 1-1 with a 5.64 ERA in 17.1 innings last year and hit .386 with 17 runs and 16 RBIs for a Panthers squad that made its second consecutive District 3 championship appearance.
The Gamecocks, coached by second-year skipper Mark Kingston, won NCAA championships in 2010 and 2011 and are a consistent presence in the NCAA Tournament.
They hold the record for longest College World Series win streak with 12 from 2010-12. They went 37-26 last, losing to Arkansas in the NCAA Super Regionals.