Penalties paid, Heimlich ready to return for Oregon State basebaall

The college baseball season is underway and once again this year, Oregon State and star pitcher Luke Heimlich are among the favorites to make it to Omaha and the College World Series. You may recall Heimlich did not make the trip to Omaha with his teammates last season. He’s back on the mound as the Beavers begin this season.

Oregon State’s No 2-ranked baseball team opens its season Feb. 16 against New Mexico at Surprise, Arizona.The Beavers are expected to send senior left-hander Luke Heimlich to the mound against the Lobos.Eight months ago, that didn’t seem likely.Heimlich, the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year and the national ERA leader with an 11-1 record, withdrew from the OSU team before its Super Regional against Vanderbilt last June. He was not with the Beavers during their College World Series appearance, either. In a written statement to the media, he said he didn’t want to be a distraction in the wake of reports in The Oregonian that, at age 16, he pleaded guilty to one count of felony child molestation.The charge, brought forth by the ex-wife of Heimlich’s brother and mother of his niece, was that Luke inappropriately touched the girl in a private area of her body at his family’s home in Puyallup, Washington, at least twice when he was age 13 to 15 and she 4 to 6, from 2010-12. Heimlich pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to two years probation, with the possibility of it being sealed from his record at the end of a five-year period.(That has happened. Heimlich’s court records were sealed on Aug. 28 in Pierce County Juvenile Court.)

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