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Desert Oasis baseball teammates to become Pac-12 foes

Jacob Walsh and Reed Schaefer have spent plenty of time in the same dugout.

They helped Desert Oasis win a state baseball championship in 2019, and Walsh said he can’t remember a time except for maybe as kids when they weren’t on the same team.

But they will be opponents in college after signing with different Pac-12 schools Wednesday, the first day of the NCAA’s early signing period for sports other than football. The period ends Nov. 18.

Schaefer, a left-handed pitcher, will head to Arizona next year. Walsh, who expects to play first base and the outfield while possibly getting on the mound as a left-handed pitcher, chose Oregon.

“We’ve played together our whole lives,” Walsh said. “I’m excited to see him go to Arizona, and I know he’s excited to see me go to Oregon. It’s going to be pretty fun to play against each other.”

Both will have fellow Las Vegans as teammates. Bishop Gorman’s Tyler Whitaker and Silverado’s Christopher Cortez will join Schaefer at Arizona. Cortez’s high school teammate Tanner McDougal will head to Oregon with Walsh.

Schaefer throws in the high 80s to low 90s and has a curveball and change-up. He was expected to be a key member of the Diamondbacks’ pitching plans as a junior, but the season was shut down early because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think once I get in there with their pitching coach, I can be a big part of (Arizona’s) rotation,” Schaefer said. “That’s what I’m working toward. I have a pretty good arm, a good fastball. And I’ve been getting better.”

Walsh hit .400 with five home runs, seven doubles and two triples, and he was tied for second on the team with 35 RBIs in Desert Oasis’ state championship run. In seven games as a junior before the shutdown, he hit .500 with a home run and nine RBIs.

Walsh said he and McDougal have become friends and play golf together. Having that relationship will certainly help ease the adjustment of being far from home, but Walsh said he’s ready to be on his own.

“Once you’re officially in the Oregon family, we all get to know each other pretty quickly,” Walsh said.

While Schaefer and Walsh were signing to play baseball, Jordyn Stroud sat between them and signed to play women’s basketball at Northwestern State in Louisiana.

Stroud helped the Diamondbacks to a 24-3 record and an appearance in the state championship game last season. The power forward averaged 8.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.7 steals.

“My coach told me there’s a school that wanted to rebrand themselves and rebuild the team, and they said I could be somebody to do the job,” Stroud said. “They like energetic kids and kids with a big personality that can help build up the team.”

Stroud also said she’s ready to go away for college, and she will see a familiar face in conference play, too.

Eliyjah Pricebrooks, the Diamondbacks’ point guard last season, is a freshman at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, a Southland Conference foe for Northwestern State.

“I haven’t talked to her about that,” Stroud said. “But I know when I see her, it’s going to be great.”

Contact Jason Orts at jorts@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2936. Follow @SportsWithOrts on Twitter.

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