COOS BAY — Two more pitchers from Southwestern Oregon Community College have inked their future college plans.
Abraham Rheinschmidt and Jeff Woolson, a pair of sophomore right-handers, signed letters of intent with four-year schools in front of their SWOCC teammates Wednesday.
Rheinschmidt will pitch for the University of Jamestown in Jamestown, N.D. Woolson will head back home to Southern California to pitch for Biola University in La Mirada.
Both had roles mostly in relief for the Lakers last spring and each finished with one win and one loss. Woolson had nine appearances and pitched 21 innings, finishing with 17 strikeouts while walking 11 and allowing 17 earned runs.
Rheinschmidt made 11 appearances and pitched 20 innings, striking out 17 and allowing 23 earned runs.
SWOCC coach David Deutschmann said both have worked hard to improve.
Woolson has a good two-seam fastball and an improving change-up, with his best pitch his slider, which he said he is confident to throw on any count.
“He’s ready to go to practice every day,” Deutschsmann said. “He’s not shy to work.”
Rheinschmidt, meanwhile, can throw a lot of different pitches, taking advantage of his 6-foot-6 inch height. His favorite pitch is a big looping curveball.
“When he’s in the zone, he’s effective,” Deutschmann said of Rheinschmidt, who is from Benton City, Wash. “Part of bringing him here was so he could develop as a pitcher.”
“The coaches gave me a chance," Rheinschmidt said, adding that he was happy to come play baseball on the relatively remote South Coast.
“Even though it’s the middle of nowhere, baseball is baseball,” he said.
After he committed to SWOCC, Rheinschmidt learned that one of his grandfathers grew up in Myrtle Point and was born in Coos Bay. One of his great-grandfathers immigrated from Germany to North Dakota.
“I’m just following my family tree around,” he said.
Deutschman said Jamestown is a good fit academically for Rheinschmidt, who will study mechanical engineering.
“He’s very, very bright,” the SWOCC coach said.
Woolson will study sports broadcasting at Biola. He was drawn to the school because of its location and its affiliation.
“It’s a small Christian school,” he said. “I grew up at a Christian high school. It’s a good fit all around.”
While he has had to adjust to the weather in Coos Bay, compared to what he was used to in the San Diego area, he said he has enjoyed his time at SWOCC.
“I like the environment,” he said. “The people are friendly. The coaches are great, too.”
The two signings Wednesday make five SWOCC pitchers who now have committed to four-year schools — one already left campus to get a head start at his new school.
Rheinschmidt and Woolson said they are excited for the upcoming season, which starts in just two weeks.
“I love the group we have here,” Woolson said. “It’s going to be a great season.
“We have a lot of returning guys. A lot of good leaders.”
Rheinschmidt had similar thoughts.
“The freshmen look really good,” he said. “We’ve got a good foundation of sophomores.”