Greensburg Daily News
South Decatur senior Matthew Gatewood has his sights set on extending his baseball career beyond high school. The left-hander has spent his summers traveling and playing baseball, and the work has paid off for him. He will be signing next month to play for Valparaiso University to pitch and study sports management.
This past June, Gatewood was invited to try out for the Chicago White Sox Area Code baseball team. Invitations to the team are made by pro scouts, and Gatewood was one of 25 selected for Area Code.
The White Sox cover 13 Midwest states. Seven other pro teams cover their own areas. The top players from the tryouts are selected for the teams.
For a high school baseball player, this is the most prestigious tournament in the country, played each year at Blair Field in Long Beach, Calif. Eight different Pro teams selected 25 players from their different areas of the country, so the 200 best players in the country go head-to-head in a weeklong baseball tournament.
Ruby Gatewood, Matthew’s mother, said all participants were treated like a big leaguer from the time Gatewood arrived in Long Beach on Aug. 3. This was sponsored by ESPN and New Balance. The players were outfitted from head-to-toe with all the gear they would need, and access to all the amenities of Blair Field, home of Long Beach State University.
Gatewood reached 91 MPH on his fastball for the first time and pitched very well in the games he played, according to Ruby Gatewood. The timing was good as about 500 pro and college scouts and coaches were in attendance.
“He said he was more excited than nervous,” said Ruby Gatewood. “This was, by far, the biggest event he's been involved in, and he's been in some pretty big showcases and tournaments over the last several years. He didn't mind having to miss the first week of school for this tournament.”