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Avila signs to play baseball at Central Arizona

Blake Avila and family Gila Ridge High School senior Blake Avila signed a letter of intent last week to continue his academics and baseball career at Central Arizona College.

“Blake is a special baseball player who really loves to, not only play the game, but also practice and put in the long hours of practice all year round,” Gila Ridge baseball coach James Kuzniak said. “He is always the guy who wants to stay extra and take extra swings and groundballs. This dedication and love for the game has been instilled into him and I believe this is a major part of why he is so successful.”

Avila will play for the perennial Arizona Community College Athletic Conference (ACCAC) powerhouse Vaqueros, a team that won the National Junior College Athletic Association National Championship in 2019. The Vaqueros have had 166 players selected in the Major League Baseball draft directly out of Central Arizona as well as 19 players who have made it to the Major Leagues.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have Blake in our program here at Central Arizona,” Central Arizona head coach Anthony Gilich said. “He is a great kid with a great family. He is one of the top hitters in the state in the class of 2021 and we expect him to make an immediate impact when he arrives on campus.”

Avila, who is a pitcher and corner infielder, has been a member of the Gila Ridge varsity team since his freshman year and has been a pillar in the lineup for the Hawks. He was voted first team All-Southwest Region in 2019, and earned second team honors in 2018. Over the course of his three seasons with the Hawks, Avila has a .429 batting average with 51 hits, 29 RBIs and 4 home runs.

“I’m very fortunate and blessed to have received this opportunity to continue my playing career at Central Arizona, they are always one of the best programs in the country,” said Avila. “This is not only a proud moment for me, but also for my family, teammates and coaches as well as my dad, who has always been my hitting coach and my number one supporter. I’m excited and can’t wait to take the field and continue to improve my game while continuing my academics.”

James Kuzniak