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Matt Eppers (8) Central fball 8/16/2012 (Truth Photo By Bill Beck) (AP)
Baseball Central’s Eppers chooses Ball State

Posted on Oct. 10, 2012 at 1:00 a.m.

ELKHART — Matt Eppers, a Central High School senior, could have chosen to pursue football at the next level.

But he has chosen to play baseball at Ball State University in Muncie and joins classmates Tanner Tully (Ohio State) and Cory Malcom (Arkansas-Little Rock) as players who have announced verbal commitments to NCAA Division I programs, beginning in 2013-14.

Eppers, who also plays soccer and basketball for the Blue Blazers, has picked the diamond and was recruited as an outfielder.

Missing part of the season with a collapsed lung, the speedy Eppers hit .328 and stole 16 bases for coach Steve Stutsman’s 24-6 Class 4A Elkhart Sectional champions in 2012.

“I think it’s the best place for me to succeed baseball-wise and academic-wise,” said Eppers, who is undecided about his major, though it will likely have something to do with business.

“I had a few looks in football, but my true love is baseball. I may have a chance to walk on in football (as a kicker).”

Eppers is currently in the Top 10 in the Central senior class.

“Matt truly is a student-athlete,” said Central coach Steve Stutsman. “Matt is not only a great athlete, but a great student. Matt woks hard in practice and wants to improve everyday. He is what I call a ‘throwback player.’ You tell him to run through a wall and he will do it without asking why.

“Matt’s best baseball is ahead of him. Ball State and coach (Rich) Maloney are getting an outstanding young man.”

Maloney is back at Ball State after 10 seasons at Michigan. The Cardinals went 14-36 overall and 9-18 in the Mid-American Conference in 2012.