ANSONIA – Kane Kimmel wanted to play college baseball and further himself as a ballplayer. He’ll get that opportunity at the Wright State University Lake Campus.
Kimmel, the son of Greg and Barb Kimmel, committed to play for the Lakers Thursday evening.
“I really wanted to play in college to give me the extra year or two or even four years to play in college,” the 2017 Ansonia graduate said. “I just love the sport, and I love playing it.”
Playing at the college level has been one of Kimmel’s goals for years.
“The last two years he’s talked about wanting to go on so for him to actually be able to take the strides and move forward I’m very happy for him,” Ansonia baseball coach Dustin Hecht said. “He’s got huge potential. He has a great work ethic. I think he can do big things, and hopefully he’ll learn quite a bit up there and be able to actually see the field and get some time pitching and be able to move on and do good things.”
The Lakers plan to use Kimmel as a pitcher.
“They wanted me to go there to pitch and help them out any way I can,” he said. “I’m going to try to do my best.”
In a team-leading 29 2/3 innings this past season Kimmel struck out 32 batters for Ansonia.
“He’s been our No. 1 the last two years without a doubt,” Hecht said. “He throws low ball strikes, exactly what you look for as a coach. You want to keep them low, groundballs, when they do make contact, and he’s got great off-speed. He’s one of the best we’ve seen come through in the last couple years.”
In college Kimmel plans to study mechanical engineering. He’s not sure if he’ll remain at the Lake Campus for his entire collegiate career or transfer to Wright State’s main campus. Either way, the Lake Campus in Celina provided a great opportunity for him.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to start out and possibly transfer to the main campus,” Kimmel said. “And also it’s just a good college for how small it is, and I like the small aspect of it because you get a better education at a smaller school in my opinion.”
Along with having an opportunity to get a good education, Kimmel is excited to join the Lake Campus baseball program. This past season the Lakers advanced to the United States Collegiate Athletic Association national championships for a second consecutive season, earning the No. 3 seed.
“They just have a good program up there, and I would like to be a part of that and help them out any way I can,” Kimmel said.
Kimmel credited his coaches and parents for helping him achieve his goal of playing college baseball. Now he hopes to help the Lakers win some championships and work toward his degree.
“I want to win games and possibly help them win some championships and then graduate either from the main campus or Lake Campus in mechanical engineering and then get a job somewhere in that field,” he said.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.