Austin St. Dominic Savio Catholic High pitcher Joshua Stewart will not have to travel a great distance to further his baseball career. He recently verbally committed to the University of Texas.

The rising junior right-hander became the third Class of 2021 commitment for Longhorns skipper David Pierce in early July, according to the Burnt Orange Nation blog.

Stewart will attend the same institution where his current coach at St. Dominic Savio, Bryan Edwards, once committed.

Edwards, a fellow native Austinite who played for the Cincinnati Reds, the New York Mets, and the San Diego Padres, told Texas Scorecard that he was both happy and surprised in regards to Stewart’s decision to commit to UT. In a family of Aggies, Stewart is the only one who proudly flashes the Hook ‘Em Horns sign.

“I was very happy for him,” Edwards said. “I was very caught off-guard because [the Stewart family is] so Aggie oriented. I got a text from him with the Hook ‘Em signal.”

Stewart will enter his third year manning the mound for the Eagles. At 6 feet 1 inch and weighing 185 pounds, he throws an 89-mile per hour fastball with an ERA of around 1.0.

“He’s very serious on the mound,” the coach said. “He competes [and] does the best he can. We kind of use him as the ‘bulldog’ so to speak … the ceiling is high for him. There’s a lot more improvement he could have with all his pitches.”

Edwards added that his star hurler exudes “a great, sound demeanor and a calmness to himself.” Aside from keeping opposing bats cold, Stewart himself is a solid hitter.

“He doesn’t strike out much,” Edwards said. “He at least puts the bat on the ball … He does pretty well with the bat. He handles it better than most pitchers.”

Last year Stewart, whose secondary position is third base, helped the Eagles secure a playoff berth.

Two years ago, in a district game against crosstown foe Austin St. Michael’s Catholic Academy, he first showed his potential.

“He threw lights out,” Edwards said. “He pitched so much better than his age [group]. It was a good eye-opener; this kid could be pretty good one day.”

St. Dominic Savio’s small size enables Stewart to enjoy a close relationship with teammates. Edwards said that his ace is a team leader as well as a prankster.

For his penultimate season in 2020, expectations will be high for Stewart.

“My expectations for this year and beyond is for him to continue to develop and get better,” sais Edwards, the CEO/director of baseball operations for locally based THZ Baseball Academy. “My expectations are for him to stay humble and continue to get better in every aspect of baseball.”