Casey Douglas didn’t get a lot of opportunities to pitch this year, but he took advantage of just about every start for the St. Francis High baseball team.
In six starts, the senior posted a 5-0 record with a 0.47 ERA.
Now Douglas hopes to seize another opportunity. The Los Altos resident recently accepted a scholarship from the University of Kansas and has designs on taking the mound as a freshman.
“I’ll probably be in the bullpen the first year,” Douglas said, “but I hope to work my way up to a starting spot.”
St. Francis head coach Mike Oakland expects Douglas to thrive at Kansas, which ranked as high as 22nd in the nation this year and qualified for the NCAA regionals.
“The future is bright for Casey. He has tremendous upside as a pitcher and will benefit greatly from being a part of a top-tier program like Kansas,” he said. “I look forward to watching his development over the next few years.”
Oakland is more than just familiar with Kansas head coach Ritch Price. He coached under Price for five years at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
That connection helped lead Price to Douglas, who said he was contacted by Kansas coaches in March.
“I was looking at WCC schools at the time,” said Douglas, who drew interest from multiple colleges in the West Coast Conference. “I was really excited when Kansas reached out – the program has a great history, it’s in the Big 12 (Conference) and the coaches are phenomenal. It would be really hard to pass all that up.”
Douglas visited the campus – located in Lawrence – in May and came away impressed.
“It’s a small town, but it’s beautiful – very open and green,” he said. “A lot of people here don’t know that and have teased me a lot (about going there), but they haven’t seen it for themselves.”
Douglas hasn’t signed his National Letter of Intent yet – he expects that to happen during Price’s home visit this month – but the pitcher has already been accepted to Kansas. Douglas said his roommate will be Matt McLaughlin, an infielder from Leland (San Jose), who signed with the Jayhawks in December.
Douglas will also be teammates with catcher Michael Tinsley, who graduated from Serra last year. They played against one another in the rugged West Catholic Athletic League.
St. Francis shared the WCAL title with Mitty this season. The Lancers advanced as far as the Central Coast Section Open Division quarterfinals, finishing with a 26-5 overall record.
Douglas was the third starter for a St. Francis squad featuring aces John Gavin (8-1 record, 0.71 ERA) and Tyler Deason (9-2, 0.59).
“He pitched well and won some big games for us,” Oakland said of Douglas. “Without his contribution on the mound, we would not have had the success we did this year. Casey was a huge part of the pitching staff in 2014.”
Douglas struck out 32 batters and allowed just 10 hits all season. He takes the most pride in his April 24 start against Clayton Valley in the Elite 8 Classic.
“Coach Oakland trusted me to pitch the championship game, and it meant the world to me,” Douglas said of the Lancers’ 3-0 victory. “I pitched well and threw a complete game – it was great.”