By Morgan Widdifield
LoCoSports Copy Editor
Purcellville (November 29, 2015) — Loudoun Valley High School senior Justin Ager has made a commitment to continue his baseball career at Yale University starting in the 2016-2017 school year.
“When I first committed, I felt a wave of relief to have confirmed my future and to be done with the hectic recruiting process, along with pure joy that I have the opportunity to play the sport I love at my No. 1 school,” the 6-foot-4 Ager said. “Then, my feelings were, and still are, happiness and thankfulness to God for blessing me with this opportunity.”
While considering a handful of schools to further his education, Ager believed that Yale — his top choice from the beginning — offered the best combination of baseball and competitive Division I athletics.
“Ever since the start of my recruiting process, I had targeted schools with competitive Division I baseball along with exceptional academics. Yale met both of those criteria and then some, so it was my No. 1 target school from the beginning,” Ager said. “Along with that, the head baseball coach at Yale, John Stuper, has experience as a pitcher at the Major League level, making him a great mentor for me throughout my college career.”
Ager will join Stuper – who pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds from 1982-1985 – in New Haven, Connecticut next fall in hopes of helping the Division I Bulldogs improve on their 15-23 record in the spring of 2015.
“I will work as hard as possible to continue to improve as a pitcher, so I can contribute as much as I can on the field for the Bulldogs. I feel I am a very capable Division I pitcher and will use all the tools God has blessed me with, such as a power fastball and a sharp-breaking curveball, to give the Bulldogs the best chance to win as I can whenever presented the opportunity,” said Ager who plays travel for Chandler Baseball. “Also, I tend to play the game with a lighthearted attitude, so I will bring humor and a relaxed atmosphere to the team.”
Throughout his high school career, Ager has helped Loudoun Valley put together a few impressive seasons including back-to-back VHSL 3A state championship appearances. In 2014, they beat Poquoson High School, 9-1, to claim the VHSL 3A state title, before they lost to Lafayette High School, 5-4, in 2015.
“Loudoun Valley baseball lost some key contributors to graduation last year, such as Liberty-commits Jack DeGroat and Sam Urban along with Andrew Lohr and Kyle Bowles,” said Ager who was named first team All-Conference 28, second team All-VHSL 3A East region and first team All-LoCo in 2015. “That being said, we have many very good players that are more than capable of replacing what we lost. It will take a lot of hard work and preparation, but I expect us to get back to where we were last year: back in the state championship game.”