Augusta's baseball team just got a lot better.

After losing one stud pitcher to a transfer, the Orioles gained another. Garrett Hutson, the standout pitcher from Circle High School, transferred to Augusta High School Tuesday. Hutson received more than a warm welcome during his first day.

"After the first block when I went to the commons, I could here my name a lot," Hutson said with a laugh.

Hutson had some personal reasons for the transfer, one of which he said was the dedication AHS has shown to the baseball program.

Last season, Hutson earned Second Team All-State honors in Class 4A. He led the Thunderbirds to the 4A state tournament, where Circle got a 3-0 first-round victory after Hutson struck out nine Concordia batters while giving up just one walk and seven hits. Hutson hopes to build on that success as an Oriole.

"I'm excited, about baseball especially," Hutson said about joining AHS. "I have no doubt that we can make it (to State)."

The Orioles needed a standout pitcher after losing all-leaguer Kolton Schenker, who transferred to Chase County for his senior year.

Hutson's success extend beyond high school. He plays for the Midwest Warducks travel team during the summer and part of the fall. Hutson will be playing in the WWBA World Championships tournament Oct. 24 through 28 in Florida. The prestigious tournament is run by Perfect Games and consistently has turned out professional baseball players of all levels.

Hutson, who is a junior, has verbally committed to play for Wichita State University.

"Head coach Todd Butler, he's so energetic, and (Brent) Kemnitz is one of the best pitching coaches in the nation, so I'm looking forward to him coaching me," Hutson said.

Hutson also is looking forward to playing for the AHS football and basketball teams next year when he will be eligible to do so.