SPORTS>>Fourth signing at Hillside
Leader sports writer
The fourth senior from the Sylvan Hills High baseball program signed to play college baseball on Friday morning. Students and faculty gathered in the Sylvan Hills High School media center to give well wishes to Ross Bogard, who signed his letter of intent to become a Trojan for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
For the second straight year, the UALR program has ended up with the Bears ace hurler, after signing high profile southpaw Ashur Toliver last spring. While it is the first signing to UALR this season, it is the fourth overall for the departing SH seniors.
Along previous signees Taylor Roark, Tony Pavan and Jake Eller, Bogard was part of a class that helped the Bears to a state title in 2005, and enjoyed back-to-back conference titles their junior and senior years. While the postseason has not been kind to the group the past two years, Bogard says his entire tenure as a Sylvan Hills pitcher was an enjoyable one.
A big moment for me was my sophomore year when we won the state championship,” Bogard said. “Last year, we made it to the second round of state, and we were able to do that again this year. Being part of such a good program was a lot of fun.”
Bogard had a very solid year at the mound as the ace for Sylvan Hills. His record for the season was 8-1 with a 2.2 ERA. At the plate, Bogard hit .310 for the season with three home runs and 21 total RBIS.
“Ross had an unbelievable year on the mound,” Bears coach Denny Tipton said. “He really came through for us. He did a great job in the outfield for us too. It’s going to give us a big hole. Anytime you lose a pitcher that went 8-1 it’s tough, and when you’re losing your five-hole hitter as well, that’s going to be hard to replace.”
As for rejoining Toliver at UALR, Bogard says the reunion will be a welcomed one. “It’s going to be fun to go and play with Ashur,” Bogard said. “I’ve played with him these past four years, and it’s been a pretty good experience pitching with him, so that was also part of my decision.”
Bogard says the Trojan program as a whole should be a good fit for him.“I kind-of feel like staying close to home,” Bogard said. “ I know it’s a good fit for me. I feel like UALR is going to be an up-and-coming program in baseball for the next few years.”