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Carolina after top right-handed arm

When the best players in the country call, coaches listen. Class of 2014 pitcher Cameron Varga (West Chester, Ohio/Cincinnati Hills) reached out to South Carolina recently and the interest is certainly mutual.

Class of 2014 RHP Cameron Varga

Varga, a former Florida commitment, opened up his recruitment recently. His family relocated from Florida to Ohio and, given his close relationship with his family, he wants to be a little bit closer to home.

Ranked as the fifth-best right-handed pitcher in the country in his class, he has no shortage of suitors. Varga has been in touch with many of the big-time schools within a nine-hour radius of his home, which includes the Gamecocks.

“Right now, I’m just taking my time with it,” Varga said. “I’ve talked to a lot of schools but I haven’t gone on any visits yet. My family and I are going to go on some visits and see some places.”

Varga is wide open, as things stand today, but some of the schools he’s talked to recently include South Carolina, Clemson, Virginia, Georgia, Michigan, Kentucky, Louisville, and Pittsburgh. His father, Chad, played basketball for Pittsburgh and later played professionally.

Varga committed to the Gators as a shortstop just before entering high school. Given that baseball coaches stop recruiting committed players, an unwritten rule in college baseball, Varga has had little contact with other programs. Visits are important and he’s not going to rush the process this time around.

“I’m not in any rush to make a decision, so I’ve just been talking to coaches,” Varga said. “I’m just looking for a place that feels right. I want to see the campuses and facilities.”

Varga has not visited South Carolina at this point but hopes to set up a visit in the near future. He’s spoken via email and on the telephone multiple times in recent weeks with recruiting coordinator Sammy Esposito.

“South Carolina is definitely one of the top schools on my list,” Varga said. “Obviously the are the top program in the country having won two out of three national championships. I can’t wait to get down to campus with the family in the next month or so.”

Ranked as the No. 24 player in the country regardless of position by Perfect Game, Varga sports a mid-90s fastball but he doesn’t consider that his best pitch at this point.

“I think schools like my work ethic,” Varga said. “I love to pitch. When I made the transition to pitching, I put all my focus on that. I love using my fastball as my go-to pitch and I love working inside on hitters. I like my changeup. I just started throwing a curveball a couple years ago. My changeup is probably my best pitch.”

Playing for IMG Academy last year, Varga allowed to earned runs on 11 hits in 12.1 innings pitched. He had 10 appearances, 18 strikeouts, and recorded seven saves. Opponents hit .216 against him.

This year, though, he will work as a starting pitcher for Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy.

South Carolina currently has four right-handed pitchers committed in the 2014 class. Two of those pitchers - Junior Harding (Cambridge, Md./Cambridge-South) and Braden Webb (Owasso, Okla./Owasso) - are ranked in the top 50 nationally.

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