Baseball: Mount Carmel’s Jerry Houston chooses Oregon

Story Image 6/10/11 Joliet,IL
Mt. Carmel's Jerry Houston (1) makes a play at first during the IHSA 4A semi-final game against Lyons at Silver Cross Field in Joliet on June 10, 2011. The Lions won 4-1 and advance to the finals on Saturday. | Rob Hart~Sun-Times Media

Mount Carmel shortstop Jerry Houston, who has spent his entire three-year high school career on the varsity, has verbally committed to the University of Oregon.

One of the area’s top prospects, Houston chose the Ducks over Notre Dame and Missouri.

“I loved the coaching staff and their facilities are nice,” said Houston, a graduate of Salem Christian Academy in Chicago. “They’re going to push me and I’ll have a shot to win a College World Series.”

Houston can pretty much do it all on the baseball diamond, boasting exceptional speed, a strong arm and an ability to hit the ball to all fields. He shows occasional power, as well.

A member of the 2012 SouthtownStar All-Area Team, Houston hit .427 with 12 doubles, three home runs, 31 runs and 25 RBI last season. The 5-foot-8, 165-pound speedster is on pace to own nearly every significant career offensive record, with the exception of career home runs, in Caravan history.

Houston, who plays summer ball for the White Sox Amateur City Elite (ACE) team, is excited about the opportunity to compete in the Pac-12 with USC and UCLA.

“It’s crazy,” Houston said. “I’m still trying to take it all in. It really hasn’t hit me yet. I’m honored and happy.”

Mount Carmel coach Brian Hurry is confident Houston has the physical and mental makeup to excel at Oregon.

“Jerry is one of the most talented kids I’ve ever coached and an even better person,” Hurry said. “He’s a high character guy and a hard worker. I’m extremely excited he’s going to get to play at Oregon.”

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