Scottie Bordelon is a reporter for WholeHogSports.com. A graduate of the University of Arkansas, Bordelon previously covered high school sports for the Times Record in Fort Smith and the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Springdale. He is a member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and Football Writers Association of America, and was awarded 2022 Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year.
Not done yet:
Gates signs free agent deal with Orioles
Arkansas first baseman Jared Gates claps his hands as he scores a run during the fifth inning of a College World Series finals game against Oregon State on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, in Omaha, Neb.
FAYETTEVILLE — Shortly after the Razorbacks lost Game 3 of the College World Series finals in Omaha, Neb., Jared Gates said his playing days were likely behind him.
“I think so,” he told the Omaha World-Herald. “I have no regrets. To finish with this group of guys is a dream come true.”
In the profile, Gates' mother, Tammy, said, "This is it. This is his last game. I think he's ready to be done. He’d like to coach collegiately. That’s what he’s wanted to do.”
As it turns out, Gates' baseball career isn't over.
Friday, Gates signed a free agent deal with the Baltimore Orioles, making him the 10th Razorbacks player to sign a pro contract since the 2018 MLB Draft.
Gates is the first non-drafted Razorback to sign a pro contract this summer and second to join the Orioles organization. Right-hander Blaine Knight, a third-round selection, signed with the club last week.
Gates steadied Arkansas' defensive woes at first base late in the 2018 season and became a staple in the Razorbacks' lineup. He earned the nickname "Mr. June" from teammates for his productivity in postseason play each of the last two seasons.
This postseason, he hit .308 with three home runs and six RBIs, and in 16 career NCAA Tournament games, Gates batted .291 and scored 16 times.
Gates will be remembered most for his two-run home run in the eighth inning of the 2017 NCAA Fayetteville Regional final against Missouri State, a game that ultimately finished after 3 a.m. In the deciding game of the regional later that night, Gates again homered. He was responsible for two of Arkansas' five hits in the season-ending loss.
He also made a diving catch in foul territory in Game 1 of the championship series against Oregon State that made No. 1 on SportsCenter's Top 10 plays of the day.
Gates joined the Razorbacks ahead of the 2017 season after spending the previous two years at Iowa Western Community College, a 20-minute drive from TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha. He was a second-team All-American at Iowa Western.
Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.