Explorers’ Prats and Suarez Ink Baseball Scholarships

By Yelany Rodriguez….

Pictured are (l-r) Joe Weber head coach, Rene Prats, Kyle Prats, Lazaro Llanes, Tony Meilan asst. Coach, Andy Suarez, Chris MCKeon.

Two top college prospects who are co-captains for Columbus High School’s baseball team now appear destined to face each other on the diamond.

Together with family, teammates and the Explorers’ coaching staff, seniors Kyle Prats and Andy Suarez officially signed their letters of intent with their chosen colleges on November 15.

Pratz, a starting centerfielder, chose the Virginia Tech ‘Hokies’ for his college baseball career while for Suarez, it was ‘all about the U’ when the southpaw pitcher signed with the University of Miami ‘Canes.

After three years as friends, teammates and varsity co-captains, they’ll now think about battling each other when the Hokies and Hurricanes square off on the baseball diamond.

“The only downside is that they will likely be playing against each other since both UM and Virginia Tech are ACC teams,” chuckled Joe Weber, Columbus manager for 15 years. “We’re very proud of everything these young men have accomplished and look forward to watching them at the college level.”

For three years, the pair’s hard work and constant striving to improve has definitely not gone unnoticed.

Prats was named as Co-Most Valuable Player and All-Dade team and was also an All-Selective Recruiting choice as a sophomore and a Gold Glove Selective Recruit as a junior.

Suarez was also named to the All- Dade team, chosen as an All-American for three years and named the 6A Division Pitcher of the Year in 2009. He is anticipated to be a high draft pick by Major League Baseball.

“Their dedication and hard work doesn’t only happen on the field, Weber added. “They’re both hard workers in the classroom. They’re great students and great leaders, too.”

Joe Weber has a record of 339-100, with a State Title in 2003 and in 2009 they were runner ups. They have also had 9 Regional appearances and 6 District Titles. 75 of his players have earned college scholarships. 14 have been drafted by MLB after their senior years and one, John Jay, is a starting right fielder for the St. Louis Cardinals.


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