Just over a year removed from Tommy John surgery, Piedra Vista baseball player Jacy Cave has signed a National Letter of Intent.
Cave signed with New Mexico Junior College on Feb. 1 despite receiving offers from numerous four-year schools.
"Junior college is a better route for me. It will be easier to get playing time, and I need that to get my arm strength to come back up all the way," Cave said.
Cave has begun throwing and will pitch for PV in 2013.
When Tommy John surgery was recommended by doctors, Cave said he never questioned whether or not he would have the chance to play in college.
"I didn't feat anything about my surgery. My doctor had done the same surgery on a few guys from up here, and they all came back stronger," Cave said. "I already feel like my arm is stronger than it was before the surgery, and I know I can be a good asset on the mound."
With PV stars Damion Lovato, Morgan McCasland and Dillon Bibo all playing for NMJC in recent years, PV head coach Mike McGaha has built a good relationship with Thunderbirds head coach Josh Simpson.
"Simpson is great. He has given our guys the ultimate opportunities," McGaha said. "He knows our program and what our guys are capable of. He stuck by Lovato even when he struggled mightily after transferring from UNM after one semester, and he sent Lovato on to Kansas State on a 70-percent plus ride. He stuck by McCasland when he wasn't able to play catcher because of his knees, and he turned him into an all-conference first baseman. Now he is healthy enough to catch again and could get drafted there. It is a no brainer for us to see Cave go there. Whether it takes one or two years, he will have some special performances and opportunities beyond there."
Cave still played the entire 2012 season despite the surgery, filling in as a designated hitter.
"His numbers at the plate are up there with guys like Shilo McCall. His home runs, RBIs and average are all right there with McCall," McGaha said. "His foot speed is MLB caliber and he throws 91 miles per hour from right field to third base. He will have the chance in college to find out if he wants to pitch or be a player-hitter."
Cave said he plans on using NMJC as a launching ground for his career, and he hopes to help the team improve on its No. 3 national ranking it enters the 2013 season with.
"They are a top program with great coaches. It would be nice to go down for a year and have success and be able to go to a D1 like Texas Tech from there," Cave said.
Now that he has signed, Cave's only goal is to help PV bring home a fourth consecutive state title.