BELVIDERE – Two years ago, Belvidere standout outfielder and pitcher, Troy Vandenbroek received a baseball scholarship to Eastern Illinois University.  Two years later, Belvidere High School’s senior pitcher, Tyler Lass, signed his National Letter of Intent to play at Northwestern University in the Big Ten.

Josh Hauser is now among these two to sign with a Division 1 program. The starting shortstop at Elgin Community College this season has made his decision and has signed to play for Rick Robinson at the University of Tennessee-Martin.  The former 3 year starting shortstop for the Bucs is considered to be one of the top defensive shortstops in the country in this year’s Junior College recruiting class.  As a freshman last season at Judson University, Hauser fielded an outstanding .973 and was in the running for a NAIA National Gold Glove last season.  One of the biggest needs for the UT Martin baseball program was having a lockdown defensive shortstop and that’s exactly what they’re getting with Hauser

“I just want to thank all the coaches down at UTM for giving me this opportunity.  It’s always been my goal to play Division 1 baseball in the south,” Hauser said.  “Coach Robinson is bringing in a high-talented recruiting class that will contend for a conference title so I’m thrilled to be a part of the group that brings this program to be a mid-major power.”

Hauser chose UT Martin over Illinois State, Eastern Michigan, and Ohio State.  UT Martin is a member of the Ohio Valley Conference, which is one of the top mid-major conferences in the country for Division 1 baseball. He will be studying Physical Education and having a minor in Sports Management.

Hired this past summer, Head Coach Rick Robinson will be in his 18th year of being a head coach.  The last 16 seasons, Robinson has transformed the Young Harris College (GA) baseball program into a junior college powerhouse.  As a head coach, Robinson is 699-281 and has recorded four 50-win seasons, eight conference titles, five Region XVII championships, and one NJCAA World Series appearance.  The UT Martin Skyhawks baseball program isn’t rich in tradition, but head coach Rick Robinson is very confident that the program can contest for an Ohio Valley Championship in the next few seasons and that’s a huge reason why Hauser chose UT Martin.

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