Salado senior catcher Cole Haag signed his letter of intent to play for University of Mary Hardin-Baylor next season.
“I’m excited for Cole,” said Chad Krempin, Salado’s head coach. “I had anticipated that Cole would get the opportunity to play at the collegiate level. He’s a left-handed batter with some power—he’s got pop in his bat.”
Haag attended a UMHB baseball camp in December.
“I got to know their coaches and I was very impressed,” Haag said. “They have a great field, a great campus, and excellent hitting facilities. I really appreciated their coaching philosophy: You will work hard on the field and work just as hard, if not harder, off the field. They want the players to be working hard at lifting weights and working out. To me, this will be a great fit.”
Haag has a bazooka for an arm. He can’t quite toss a baseball from Salado to Belton, UMHB’s home. But the Salado-to-Belton drive is little more than 15 minutes.
“Actually, the closeness of the campus to where I live didn’t matter to me when I made this decision,” Haag said. “That Mary Hardin-Baylor is a great school academically was the biggest factor to me.
“First and foremost, I wanted to make sure I’d be getting a good education and now I know that I will.”
“Cole is a very intelligent young man,” Krempin said. “He excels academically and he has always cared about getting good grades. So going to a college that is so strong in academics, like Mary Hardin-Baylor, was important to Cole.”
Officially, practices begin today for the Salado High School baseball program.
“Now, with my senior season of high school baseball starting for me, I can totally concentrate on that,” Haag said. “It feels good to already know where I’ll be going to college. It’s all a relief. Now, there’s nothing else I need to think about except helping my Salado team have a strong season.”
“I knew Cole wanted to get this process over with early,” Krempin said. “He made a great choice for himself. I think Mary Hardin-Baylor will be getting a very strong catcher who has a very good arm, can hit and will fit right in. I can promise this: His college coaches won’t find anyone easier to coach than Cole—he’ll do whatever they ask and whatever they need him to do to help the program. Cole has a great work ethic and he’s a team-first player.”