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LO's Jake Dukart makes early commitment to ASU

The incoming sophomore shortstop says Sun Devils are his ideal program

VERN UYETAKE - Jake Dukart recently verbally committed to Arizona State University and was the only freshman last year to earn all-league honors in the TRL.For years, Lake Oswego High School's Jake Dukart has dreamed about playing college baseball for the Arizona State University Sun Devils.

And the incoming sophomore is now a big step closer to achieving that dream. Dukart recently committed to play for the Sun Devils after his high school career, making the announcement on Twitter, giving ASU three early recruits for the class of 2018.

Nothing can be made official yet but there is plenty of mutual interest and Dukart is one of the most sought after players in his class.

“I just figured since this was the place that I knew I wanted to play, there was no need to wait on letting them know,” Dukart said.

Dukart's fascination with ASU came at an early age and grew as his club team made an annual trek to Arizona for a tournament and routinely took in a Sun Devils game as part of the trip.

“I just really like the coaches and the guys there. I like their style of play and the history and tradition of the program and I thought it gave me a great chance to compete for a national title,” Dukart said.

As a freshman, Dukart was a clutch hitter for the Lakers, hitting close to .290 and handled the bulk of the duties at shortstop where he only committed a handful of errors during the year.

He earned second-team all-league honors for his efforts, the only freshman in the talented Three Rivers League to make any team or honorable mention. In fact, just three sophomores earned all-league honors.

“I've really just been working on my leadership at shortstop both on the club team and at LO,” Dukart said.

He helped the Lakers' OIBA team to a very strong summer which gives him optimism about the team's chances next spring.

Dukart first started to think his goal of playing for Arizona State was a possibility in middle school as he started to get looks from coaches.

He has also been a standout on his club team, most recently with West Coast Mariners, a team consisting of high school all-stars from Oregon, Washington and Idaho that is coached by Seattle scout Jeff Sakamoto.

With the club, Dukart plays in three to four tournaments a year, generally up and down the West Coast although he just recently returned from a trip to Georgia.

Dukart has visited ASU and its facilities and, although its still a few years off, is looking forward to competing in the Pac-12, a conference that is loaded with baseball talent.

For now, Dukart is entering a down time for baseball. In just a few weeks, the football season ramps up with practices.

“I usually take September and October off from baseball to work on my strength and focus on football,” Dukart said.

The sophomore will play quarterback and safety for the Lakers this year and is excited about the team's prospects this fall.