Wood officially signs with Marshalltown
He’s made a name for himself as the ace of the Washington Demons baseball pitching staff, but Elijah Wood will be looking to make an impact at Marshalltown Community College next season.
Wood formally announced his decision to sign and attend Marshalltown on Monday afternoon, and according to his assistant coach Chris Beall, there will be plenty of opportunities for the lefthander.
“This year we are going to be really young,” Beall said. “We are bringing in a lot of freshmen and the pitching staff is going to be really young, so he’ll have a chance to step in to a leadership role right away. Once fall ball starts he’ll have an opportunity to earn a spot from the spring and go from there.”
The southpaw leads the Demons in pitching this season, pitching 26 1/3 innings, and only allowing two earned runs, for a 0.53 ERA, and has struck out 41 batters.
With the decision having been done for the season, it has made his high school coach notice his relaxation coming into the season.
“Anytime you’ve made your decision where you want to play college athletics at, it takes a lot of pressure off,” Washington head coach Nathan Miller said. “There isn’t that pressure to perform as much, the coaches like what they see and now you can just go out and play. All of our seniors have finally all decided what they are doing, so it’s been a smooth process this year.”
Marshalltown has a tradition of grooming talent for Division I schools, something Wood has as one of his goals for his two years in Junior College play.
“I liked the area and the coaches are really cool,” Wood said. “I liked how it was smaller and I’ll be able to know everybody and they have a good baseball team. I think it will be a good place to go succeed and get where I want to be.”
Miller said he can see the potential in the senior to accomplish those goals and that Wood will just need to continue developing to make it to the next level.
“He’s left-handed, and velocity wise, he’s throwing pretty well and there is room for more there,” Miller said. “You look at his height and you can see he will be putting on more strength (for velocity). He’s got three really good pitches; his fastball, a changeup, which is outstanding, and his curveball is good. His composure, demeanor and control of the zone is already there, so that’s a big plus.”
To get to that next level, Wood will have to adjust to play at the college level, something that Beall thinks will be easy for Wood and the other recruits will be able to do.
“I don’t think there is much difference, just the overall quality that you will see day in and day out,” Beall said. “If you can throw strikes here, you can throw them at the next level, and the velocity will come as he develops and grows stronger. Once kids start focusing on baseball, their abilities are going to jump faster and you are dedicated to the sport. He is going to be able to do really good things for us, whether it is starting or coming out of the bullpen late.”