Winning the prestigious Easton Tournament last month won Burroughs a coveted title. It also won pitcher Kyle Nicol lots of recognition, which led to a scholarship.
Nicol, who struck out 14 in even strong innings in the title game against Harvard-Westlake, started hearing from a number of colleges shortly thereafter.
California State University, Northridge was the first to offer a scholarship. After talking with the Matadors and a few other schools, he elected to stay in the San Fernando Valley by signing a national letter of intent with CSUN Wednesday.
“They said they’re going to give me the opportunity to start next year,” Nicol said. “I was talking to UCLA and Santa Barbara, but they didn’t offer. They said there would be a walk-on spot available, but not a scholarship offer. “
Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said his pitching motion is what has made the 5-foot-8 pitcher attractive as a college prospect.
“He has perfected the submarine sidearm motion so that the batter becomes secondary and the multi-pitch selection that he has is able to be thrown for a strike at any time,” Sherwood said. “That along with the natural movement associated with the pitch becomes frustrating for a hitter who very little experience with that arm angle.”
Nicol is the son of Burroughs softball coach Doug Nicol and younger brother of Delaney Nicol, who is a freshman softball player at Hamilton College in New York.
Kyle said he enjoys the idea of staying close to home.
“It is only a 20-minute drive,” Nicol said. “It feels good to stay around here. My dad loves watching me play and I know he’s going to love watching me play in college.”
Sherwood said he thinks CSUN coach Greg Moore is a good person to help Nicol develop further.
“CSUN is a Division I school with a head coach who is known for his work with pitchers,” Sherwood said. “ He loves the arm angle and what Kyle brings to the plate not only with his maturity, but also he is very strong on academics which is a key for successful college programs.”