Every high school student athlete dreams of pursuing their talents far past graduation. For three students at Westminster Christian school, that dream turned into a reality early on in the school year. Seniors Julian Infante, Isiah Musa and Adrian Mayans committed to play baseball at three Division 1 universities well before their final season of play began. The opportunities came to them after excelling on both the field and in the classroom at the private school in Palmetto Bay.
Captain of the baseball team and starting third baseman Julian Infante is heading to Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Infante joined the varsity team when he was in the eighth grade and he has been a key player ever since. Infante ended last season with a batting average of .432 and is expected to bring a big bat to the plate again this year. Infante has played on several all-star and travel teams and was named to the Miami Herald’s first team All-Dade. He also holds a spot as one of the top players in the country for the 2015 mock MLB draft.
“One thing that stood out the most for us was no matter what time practice ended or if it was getting dark, he would always say, ‘Coach, can I hit one more round, can I go and continue to practice?’” says Head Coach Emil Castellanos. “This kid just wants to keep going at it and he doesn’t stop what he does.”
Signing early allows players to relieve stress about what their futures hold while giving them a chance to focus on the upcoming season. The team captain says he’s working to prepare the team for another successful year. “We know as a team that we should win and we understand that,” says Infante.
“We want to win and we know that working hard day by day is the best thing in self improvement and improvement in the team as a whole.”
Another Warrior all star is Adrian Mayans. The shortstop and outfielder committed to Davidson College in North Carolina. The third-year varsity veteran has proved that he can be a key hitter when he comes to the plate.
“This past season he batted over .400,” says Castellanos. “His bat was lightning for us. We knew when we needed a bigtime hit he was the guy that came through with the stick.”
When Mayans isn’t wearing a baseball glove, he’s hitting a different kind of field on the Warrior’s varsity soccer team. He says his experience at Westminster set him up for a strong four years of game time in college.
“I think Emil and the rest of the coaching staff did a good job of putting us through rigorous activities and giving us a feel of what a college baseball team would be like,” says Mayans.
Their third commit hits closer to home. Isiah Musa is pledging as a Hurricane with the University of Miami. The pitcher helped the Warriors through crucial games last year with his 90 mph fastball.
“Whenever Isiah grabbed the ball in warm-ups — infield, outfield, wherever he was — he threw the ball as hard as he could,” says Castellanos.
“You could always tell something special was coming.”
The rest of the team is coming off a 23- 5-1 record and is working toward another successful season. The Christian school currently holds a county record 10 state titles. Castellanos says aside from having three D1 commits, their strong pitching and hitting abilities should keep them in contention.
“Every year the schedule is difficult,” says Castellanos. “I think the only way to win a state title is to play the best of the best. We have some pretty good tournaments lined up and schools that are going to be very competitive and test us to see where we stand as a team.”
Four other seniors are set to play ball in college, but have yet to make commitments. In the meantime, Castellanos says he is constantly telling his boys they can always improve.
“This year we’re just going to focus on the small things and playing flawless defense,” he says. “Defense is going to win it for you in the end and if you can play great defense in crucial situations and produce when you’re asked to, then we can be successful this year.”