Eickhoff signs pro contract, says Finwood’s decision didn’t factor

Brad Stephens

Former WKU baseball commit Jerad Eickhoff told the Herald on Sunday that Head Coach Chris Finwood’s departure to Old Dominion was “not by any means” a factor in Eickhoff signing a pro contract with the Texas Rangers.

“I had made my decision before that,” Eickhoff said. “It just happened to fall near the same time frame.”

Eickhoff signed with the Rangers late last week, nullifying his national letter of intent with WKU.

The Evansville, Ind., native said that in the days leading up to is decision, he talked with Finwood or WKU pitching coach Matt Myers “every day, or every other day.”

The Rangers selected Eickhoff, a 6-foot-4, 195-pound right-handed pitcher, in the 15th round of this year’s draft. He declined to share specifics of his contract.

“It was an opportunity to play pro baseball,” Eickhoff said. “And they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.”

Eickhoff was also drafted in the 46th round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the Chicago Cubs after his freshman season at Olney Central Community College. He chose to return to Olney and then committed to WKU.

Eickhoff had a standout 2011 season at Olney, going 10-4 with a 1.90 ERA, which earned him honors as the Great Rivers Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year.

Eickhoff arrived in Surprise, Ariz., over the weekend to pitch for the Rangers’ rookie league affiliate. He said the team plans to use him as a reliever, and that he’s scheduled to throw about 25 innings this season.

“It’s an honor being picked up by a team that was just in the World Series,” he said of the Rangers organization. “They’ve been bringing in quality guys, and I’m fortunate they see me as one of those quality guys.”