By Ray Hamill — Nick Dugan is hoping to go to Stanford as a state champion.
After verbally committing to play baseball for the Pac-12 school as a sophomore two years ago, the St. Bernard’s senior made it official on Wednesday morning when he signed a letter of intent to play there in front a large gathering at the high school.
Before he embarks on his exciting college journey, however, there is still some unfinished business to take care of at St. Bernard’s.
And when he was asked what his expectations are for his senior season, Dugan wasted no time in answering.
“A state championship,” he said with a smile.
The talented Dugan, who throws 93 MPH, will certainly give the Crusaders a shot at achieving that in the spring.
Perfectgame.org has the hard-throwing right-handed pitcher listed as one of the top high school prospects in the nation, and last winter named him the No. 1 prospect in all of California for 2022.
And they’re not the only ones who have been paying attention.
Dugan has been on the radar of top collegiate and pro scouts for the past couple of years after a breakout summer in 2019, and he has received scholarship offers from numerous top schools, including Oregon, Cal, Arizona and Sac State.
He says he choose Stanford for the combination of academics and baseball.
After signing his letter, the senior standout spoke to a packed school auditorium full of friends, family, teammates, coaches and fellow students, and thanked the people who have helped him along the way.
“I didn’t get here by myself,” he said. “I’ve had great coaches and teammates all throughout the years.”
St. Bernard’s head coach Matt Tomlin was one of many coaches on hand for the occasion and spoke to the crowd about what makes Dugan special.
“The No. 1 thing is that he’s a great teammate,” Tomlin said. “That’s the most important thing you can be on any team you play.
“He’s a great young man. He’s a student athlete. He’s not just a baseball player. He comes here and gets it done in the classroom, and that’s how he’s able to go to Stanford.
“It’s been an honor and a great pleasure to be his coach. I couldn’t be more proud.”
Tomlin told the crowd of Dugan’s breakout summer in 2019 when the stands were filled with scouts coming to watch him play during the American Legion season, and how the 15-year-old player took it all in his stride.
“It didn’t affect him,” the coach said. “It didn’t change who he was.”
While looking forward to playing at Stanford, Dugan says he will miss his fellow Crusaders and his St. Bernard’s family.
“I love everybody here, students, coaches, teachers,” he said. “Everybody’s just so nice here. Everyone’s respectful. It’s just a great environment.”
Dugan will major in Economics at Stanford.