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Wilton Bsb-Townsend

Wilton's Jared Townsend will play a key role in the team's quest for a state tournament appearance.

Jared Townsend knew long before he ever arrived at high school that he wanted to play baseball at the University of Iowa. 

A lifelong goal has now become reality for the Wilton junior, who announced his commitment to play baseball for the Hawkeyes, who are 19-10 this season, through Twitter on Sunday.

"It's always been a lifetime dream to play baseball there," Townsend said. "Obviously the coaches there − coach (Rick) Heller, coach (Marty) Sutherland and coach (Desi) Druschel − I just like what they're doing up there. They have the program going in the right direction.

"It just seemed like the right place for me." 

It had seemed like the right place for quite some time. 

Townsend watched former Beaver Wes Freie join the Hawkeyes in 2006 and knew ever since then that he wanted to follow in his footsteps. 

"I just remember going to watch him play there a lot when I was younger and I just wanted to be like him," Townsend said. 

While he batted .452 with a .521 on-base percentage, 10 extra-base hits and 32 RBIs in 104 at-bats as a sophomore last season with Wilton, Townsend will join the Hawkeyes as a left-handed pitcher. 

He made six starts last year, finishing with a 3-1 record and 43 strikeouts in 24 innings pitched while holding opponents to a .097 batting average. 

The breakout sophomore campaign led to Class 2A second-team all-state recognition by the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association.

The only struggle for Townsend was with his control as he finished his sophomore season with 1.54 walks per inning, a key factor behind his 5.25 earned run average. 

"I'm just trying to gain more control on all of my pitches, smooth out my mechanics," Townsend said. "Trying to become more accurate with every pitch and be able to throw any pitch at any time in the count. Just go out and dominate this year."

Townsend said his fastball topped out at 91 miles per hour two weeks ago. He also throws a changeup that sits between 78 and 80 mph and a curveball between 75 and 78. 

He has the tools to be a dominant pitcher in high school this summer. The key will be whether he can find consistency with his command.     

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Sports Reporter