Senior Jack Budnick has committed to playing baseball and attending Paradise Valley Community College this fall.
“They were interested in me and I was interested in them,” said Budnick, who will study kinesiology. “All I want to do is continue to play the game I love.”
Budnick had a strong senior season, posting a 2.04 ERA over 24.0 innings in nine appearances with three starts. He posted a 1-2 record.
The chance to continue his baseball career has special meaning to him.
“It means that I’ll be continuing my grandfather’s legacy,” said Budnick.
Budnick is the grandson of Art “Pinky” Deras, who is known as the greatest Little League player of all time. He won the Little League World Series in 1959 and was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals.
“Baseball is a big part of my family and I have been playing since an early age,” said Budnick during the season. “Since I recognized he was so great and he recently passed away a year ago, it motivated me in my college search to continue the legacy of his name.”
Budnick will play for Brophy graduate and a former coach with the program, Victor Solis. The Pumas went 30-29 in 2023, losing to Chandler-Gilbert CC in the Region I playoffs.
“The coaching staff wants to win and has a plan to make that happen,” said Budnick. “It will be a young team since most of the players from last year left to go onto bigger things and to play at high-level programs.”
He is the 17th player from the Class of 2023 to make a collegiate commitment to play sports and the fifth from the baseball program.