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Casa catcher Christy keeping priorities in order

PETALUMA

Last summer these were the two options the University of Oregon gave Francis Christy of Casa Grande.

It was a choice a teenager should not have to make.

Francis, we are offering you a scholarship to play baseball for Oregon. If you bypass your spring classes at Casa, get your GED, enter Oregon in January, in time to play for the Ducks that spring, we will give you a

100 percent scholarship.

If, however, you decide to stay in high school through graduation and enter Oregon in the fall, you will receive a 75 percent ride.

The financial comparison: $35,000 represents a full ride, $26,250 if you wait.

Your decision, pal.

The Oregon folks knew what they had. Christy, a catcher, is likely to have a professional future. His Casa coach, Paul Maytorena, said pro scouts have told him Christy is one of the five best high school catchers in America. Ten Major League scouts have watched Christy play. At 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, and all of it lean, Christy offers a combination that makes colleges and scouts drool. He can hit for power and average. He has a strong arm and a quick release to second base. He bats left-handed. "And you can't tell if he went 0-for-4 or 4-for-4," Maytorena said. "In big games a lot of hitters disappear. Not Francis. He rises to the occasion."

Compared to the talent that has passed through Casa, Maytorena said Christy is at the same skill level as the best whoever played at the school, players like Rob Garibaldi, Phill Lowery, Matt Nadolski and the Gomes brothers. Francis is the complete package, Maytorena said.


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