BY STEVE KRAH
Jacob Hurtubise was selected in the 39th round of the 2019 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Seattle Mariners.
Having already invested in three years at Army, the 2016 Zionsville (Ind.) Community High School graduate opted not to sign and resumed his regimented activities at the United States Military Academy while also sharing the field with some of the nation’s top players.
Hurtubise made a visit to West Point in mid-July of 2015. By month’s end, he had committed to Army, fulfilling his dreams of playing NCAA Division I baseball and pursuing a first-rate education and improving himself in the areas of hard work, patience and discipline.
“I’ve absolutely loved my time up here,” says Hurtubise, who is a operations research (applied mathematics) major and a center fielder for the Jim Foster-coached Black Knights. “It’s the relationships you form off the field with guys on the baseball team. You form strong bonds through military training.
“I want to make sure I am as prepared as possible for the future. It’s a degree people don’t look past.”
On the diamond, Hurtubise has gone from hitting .238 with two doubles, nine runs batted in, 32 runs scored, 22 walks and 18 stolen bases while starting 41 times as a freshman in 2017 breaking Army’s single-season steals and walks records with 42 and 50, respectively, in 2018. His 42 swipes led NCAA Division I.
That sophomore season, Hurtubise also set a single-game mark with six stolen bases against Bucknell and was named all-Patriot League first team with two Patriot Player of the Week honors and a place on and all-academic team. He hit .278 with four doubles 22 RBIs, 56 runs in 61 starts (a school record for games played in a season).
In 2019, the lefty-swinging junior batted .375 with four triples, six two-baggers, 26 RBIs, 71 runs, 69 walks and 45 stolen bases (ranked third in NCAA D-I). His on-base percentage was .541.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pounder was Patriot League tournament MVP for the defending league champions, the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and PL first-teamer and was also a part of the ABCA/Rawlings NCAA Division I Second Team All-American and Google Cloud Academic All-District teams.
After the Black Knights’ 35-26 season, Hurtubise and other juniors went through three weeks of culminating summer training.
“We went through missions, ambushes and raids,” says Hurtubise. “It was the first opportunity to lead a platoon through those different missions.”
Many Army athletes are mixed during summer training.
“Everybody knows everybody in a sense,” says Hurtubise. “You may not know them, but you went through training with them. It makes caring for each other a lot cooler.”
After summer training, he headed to the elite Cape Cod Baseball League — already in progress. Hurtubise first landed with the Harwich Mariners. But an overabundance of outfielders saw him switch to the Orleans Firebirds.
In 21 games, Hurtubise hit .313 (20-of-64) with one triple, three doubles, two RBIs, 12 walks and six stolen bases. His on-base percentage was .429.
“I got more exposure and more consistent at-bats,” says Hurtubise of Orleans. “I faced some of the country’s best pitchers day in and day out.”
Hurtubise worked out each day on the Cape, but also found some time to go to the beach and hang out with his family, who he had not seen since January.
Jacob, 21, is the youngest son of Francois and Lisa Hurtubise. His older brother, Alec, is 24.
Many other players with ties to Indiana competed on the Cape this summer.
Right-handed pitcher Kyle Nicolas (who completed his sophomore season for Ball State University in 2019) helped the Cotuit Kettleers to the title, saving two games in the playoffs. During the regular season, the Massillon, Ohio, resident went 1-2 with four saves, a 6.28 ERA, 31 strikeouts and 21 walks in 24 1/3 innings.
Right-hander Bo Hofstra and left-hander Matt Moore also pitched for Cotuit. Hofstra wrapped his sophomore year and Moore his redshirt sophomore season at Purdue University in 2019.
Illiana Christian High School product Hofstra went 4-1 with one save, a 6.31 ERA, 20 K’s, 11 walks and 15 2/3 innings during the regular season.
Avon (Ind.) High School graduate Moore went 1-0 with an 0.67 ERA, 11 K’s and five walks in 13 1/3 innings. He also pitched in the CCBL All-Star Game.
Two University of Notre Dame players — infielder Niko Kavadas and lefty pitcher Joe Boyle — performed for Harwich. Both were CCBL all-stars coming off their second seasons for the Fighting Irish.
Lefty swinger and Penn High School graduate Kavadas hit .252 with nine homers, six doubles and 30 RBIs during the regular season.
Boyle went 1-2 with, two saves a 1.92 ERA, 28 K’s and 12 walks in 14 regular-season frames. The 6-foot-7 hurler from Goshen, Ky., also saved one game in the playoffs.
Third baseman Riley Tirotta was also with Harwich. Coming off his sophomore season at the University of Dayton, the South Bend St. Joseph graduate hit .222 from the right side with 0 homers, two doubles and one RBI during the regular season.
Two players from the University of Louisville — second baseman/right-handed pitcher Jared Poland and catcher/outfielder Zach Britton — also competed on the Cape.
Righty swinger Poland hit .271 with 0 homers, four doubles and seven RBIs and also went 3-1 with a 3.37 ERA, 18 K’s and four walks in 10 2/3 regular-season innings for the Bourne Braves. He was 1-0 during the playoffs.
Lefty batter Britton hit .286 with five homers, six doubles and 19 RBIs during the regular season for the Orleans Firebirds.
Indianapolis Cathedral High School graduate Poland and Batesville (Ind.) High School graduate Britton are both coming off their sophomore campaigns at Louisville.
Lefty-swinging all-star first baseman/catcher T.J. Collett (a Terre Haute North Vigo High School graduate coming off his junior season at the University of KentuckyUniversity of Kentucky) hit .281 with nine homers, six doubles and 32 RBIs during the regular season for the Brewster Whitecaps.
After finishing at West Point and completing officer training school, Hurtubise must serve two years as active military. It’s possible that if he goes into professional baseball that he can do it through the world-class athlete program and be a promotional tool while he is paid ballplayer.
Hurtubise played his first organized baseball at age 7. His first two seasons were spent at Eagle Creek Little League in Indianapolis. His family then moved when he was a third graders and he participated at Zionsville Little League.
From the fifth through eighth grade, he played travel ball for coaches Terry Bohl and Ken Elsbury and the Zionsville Longhorns (which became the Zionsville Baseball Club).
In high school, Hurtubise played two summers for the Indiana Nitro and one for USAthletic.
Ten days after Zionsville lost to Roncalli in the 2016 IHSAA Class 4A state championship game2016 IHSAA Class 4A state championship game, Eagles lead-off man and L.V. Phillips Mental Attitude Award recipient Hurtubise was off to West Point for six weeks of basic training.
Then as now, Jered Moore led the ZHS program.
“He was an awesome coach,” says Hurtubise of Moore. “That team we had my senior year was one of the best not only in the state, but in the country.
“They made it to semistate the next year. That shows what a good program Zionsville has and a bright future moving forward.”
While visiting daughter Macy Moore, a Purdue manager and an intern with Brewster this summer, Jered Moore saw Hurtubise play two CCBL games with Harwich and later two playoff games with Orleans.
“He was a leader,” says Moore of Hurtubise’s time at Zionsville. “He’s one of my favorites I’ve ever coached. He got it started for us. He immediately put the defense on their toes.
“He was a threat to run any time he was on-base.”
The Zionsville Class of 2016 produced six D-I players — Hurtubise, Jordan Cox (Dayton), James Meyer (Valparaiso), Jack Pilcher (Butler), Nick Prather (Florida Atlantic) and R.J. Wagner (Dayton). Prather has since transferred to Lynn University.
All but two of the Zionsville players who got into the state championship game in 2016 went on to play college baseball. Besides those already mentioned there were seniors Drew Bertram (Purdue) and Jacob Hurd (Taylor) and sophomores Riley Bertram (Michigan), Sam Egdell (Otterbein) and Nick Nelson (DePauw).
Moore says Chad Garisek, a Zionsville junior in 2016, is hoping to play at Indiana University-Kokomo. Senior Nolan Elsbury went on to be a student at Purdue. Senior Stephen Damm is a student at Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis and a member of Moore’s Zionsville coaching staff.
Hurtubise is now back at West Point going through organization week. The first day of class is Monday, Aug. 19. He will also be preparing for his final baseball season with the Black Knights.
Army left-handed hitter and center fielder Jacob Hurtubise was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in 2019, but opted to go back to the United States Military Academy for his final year. He is a graduate of Zionsville (Ind.) Community High School. (Army West Point Athletics Photo)
Through three seasons (2017-19), Zionsville (Ind.) Community High School graduate has 101 stolen bases for the Army Black Knights. He paced NCAA Division I with 42 in 2018 and was third with 45 in 2019. (Army West Point Athletics Photo)
Jacob Hurtubise hit .375 with four triples, six two-baggers, 26 RBIs, 71 runs, 69 walks and 45 stolen bases (ranked third in NCAA D-I) for Army in 2019. The on-base percentage for the graduate of Zionsville (Ind.) Community High school was .541. (Army West Point Athletics Photo)
With his speed and batting eye, Jacob Hurtubise has been a threat at the top of the order for the Black Knights of Army baseball since 2017. (Army West Point Athletics Photo)
Jacob Hurtubise, a 2016 Zionsville (Ind.) Community High School graduate, played his third season of NCAA Division I baseball at Army in 2019 and was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. He opted to stay in school and played in the Cape Cod Baseball League this summer. (Army West Point Athletics Photo)