EARLY — With his team in the thick of the District 6-3A baseball championship race, Early Longhorn senior Jonathan Morales on Friday signed a letter of intent to continue his athletic career after high school, joining the University of Dallas baseball program.

“It's unreal. It's been a dream ever since I started playing baseball,” Morales said. “Thanks to my coaches and all my teammates for helping me out and picking me up when I've been down. That's really helped.”

Morales and the Longhorns (9-5, 6-1) are set to host Cisco (11-2, 6-1) at 7 p.m. Friday in a battle for the top spot in the 6-3A standings. Early is in the midst of a six-game win streak with its only league loss at the hands of Cisco, by one run, in the district opener.

“We've been outplaying what a lot of people thought we would accomplish,” Morales said. “We're going to try and win this district and we have a great opportunity to do that, then go as far as we can in the playoffs. We have the team to do it, the best team we've had here in a while. Our pitching has held up and our offense has been doing the work.”

Morales selected Dallas over Trinity and Howard Payne. The NCAA Division III Crusaders currently own a 13-13 record, including 2-7 against Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference competition.

“I chose the University of Dallas because the coaches up there are really big on individual coaching and that's huge,” Morales said. “I really like the spot up there in the Metroplex. I want to grow intellectually and spiritually and it's a Catholic school.”

Morales expects to be used in the outfield at the college level.

“When I go up there they're going to work me in the outfield, right field and left field and maybe as I grew older center,” Morales said. “They're going to primarily have me in the outfield but I can play the infield if I need to.”

In regard to short-term and long-term goals at Dallas, Morales said, “I expect to get there, settle in, and work my way up the depth chart. As a freshman you don't start at the top so I have to work my way up. Hopefully I'll get to win a championship with that team.”

Morales, the son of David and Peggy Morales, intends on majoring in business at the University of Dallas.

“I want to become a sports marketer and maybe work for the Rangers or something like that.”