MOUNT WASHINGTON - Bullitt East baseball standout Brandon Alphin won’t have to make major changes in his clothes closet when he heads off to college.
Playing in red and gold for the Chargers, Alphin will be wearing red and black in college after committing recently to the University of Louisville.
It was a dream come true for Alphin when he visited with Cardinals assistant coach/recruiting coordinator Chris Lemonis and was then asked to meet with Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell. By the end of the meeting, Alphin was sold and he gave his commitment.
“I already wanted to go to U of L, but I was losing hope after the St. X game,” Alphin said recently while taking a break from the Bullitt East summer baseball camp. “I visited Western Kentucky and they were at the top.
“After the DeSales game in the regional tournament the pitching coach and coach Lemonis contacted me and they offered. It was real sudden. I was sort of overwhelmed.”
Alphin struggled in that early season game on the mound against St. Xavier, walking too many and giving up too many runs. It was a different story against DeSales as the junior was overpowering, reaching 90 mph on the radar gun and allowing only two hits in a game Bullitt East won 6-1. Alphin was perfect through four innings and the two hits both came in the sixth inning.
That got the ball rolling for a quick marriage to the Cardinals.
“It was sort of out of the blue,” Alphin said of the offer. “I thought they just wanted to talk and then we (Brandon and his father, Corey) went up to coach McDonnell’s office and we talked for 90 minutes. That was it.”
At this point, it’s not exactly positive just where Alphin will play in college. He can certainly pitch, finishing with an 8-4 record this year against some of the best teams in the state, but he was also one of the top hitters in the state this season with a .476 batting average. When he wasn’t pitching, Alphin was playing either shortstop or third base for the Chargers.
“They said they wanted me to pitch and hit,” Alphin said. “Coach McDonnell wouldn’t tell me an actual position. I could play anywhere to save my arm.
“I like to pitch and maybe DH (be a designated hitter),” the senior-to-be said. “I like to hit. Playing the field doesn’t excite me. I would rather pitch, but I like to hit.”
Alphin, who will be a leading candidate for Mr. Baseball honors in Kentucky next season, only committed to Louisville. He cannot sign his letter-of-intent until November.
McDonnell has moved Louisville into the national picture in baseball. Alphin will be joining a program that has played in the last three NCAA tournaments, reaching the College Baseball World Series in 2007 and making the Super Regional this past season.
In baseball, there is also the possibility that Alphin could be drafted next June. While that is still a far-away dream, Alphin is planning on being a Cardinal in the fall of 2010.