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MOUNT WASHINGTON – Bullitt East baseball player Alex Richardson was ready to start looking at a junior college route to the next level when a phone call from Centre College in Danville changed that thinking.
A few weeks later, Richardson and his family were in the Bullitt East Media Center, signing the paperwork for the senior to become a Colonel.
“It all came together on our Senior Night for baseball,” Richardson recalled as he relaxed after signing with Centre. “We got a call from the admissions office and they told me the financial part and the we called coach Pritchard (Centre head coach Mike Pritchard) and told him.
“I had been talking to a few others,” the senior added. “Then I was getting ready to talk to some junior colleges.”
The decision on Centre was as much one based on academics as it was baseball.
“A lot of it was the academics,” Richardson said. “Just the school being so good academically, then the baseball. It’s hard to separate the two things.”
The 18-year old son of Teresa and Jeff Richardson comes from an athletic family. His mother played softball at Bullitt East and his father was the assistant coach to Drake McCarthy when the softball team reached the state championship game in slo-pitch softball three straight years in the early 1990s. Richardson’s aunt, Becky McKinley, was the 1992 Kentucky Miss Basketball after playing at Bullitt East.
Richardson also has a younger sister, 12-year old Skylar.
At this point, the senior is looking to major in finance or mathematics.
This past season, Richardson was the first baseman for Bullitt East and that is where he hopes to play at the next level.
“In talking to the coach he said they had one first baseman coming back,” Richardson said. “They said I would be at first base or a corner outfield spot.
“I feel most comfortable at first base,” he said. “I have just played there more. If I get asked I can do the outfield.”
After attending Eastside Middle School, Richardson arrived at Bullitt East and played football as a freshman before joining the baseball team. After that first year, he concentrated solely on baseball.
Bullitt East posted a 33-4 record this season and the program won 67 games over the past two years. They won a district title each of those seasons as well as advancing to one Sixth Region final.
As a senior, Richardson batted .382 and he was second on the team with 35 runs batted in. He finished the season with 39 hits with eight doubles, a triple and a home run. He also stole 11 bases.
Richardson could not point to one single event as a favorite memory from being a Charger, but he loved his senior season.
“I couldn’t say there was one single memory, but it was how close we were as a senior class this year,” he said. “It was special. A lot of classes don’t have that closeness.”
Over the years, Richardson also got a push from his grandfather, Marshall McKinley.
“He has been a positive influence since day one in my regular life and baseball,” the senior said. “He knows the game. He kept me positive.”
Richardson will be joining a Centre program that struggled last season to a 13-25 record. The Colonels play in the NCAA Division III as part of the Southern Athletic Association. Last season, the baseball team ended its season with a 6-3 loss to Rhoads College in the SAA Tournament in Alabama.
Head coach Mike Pritchard has been in charge of the program for the past nine seasons. Centre has won 134 games over those nine seasons.
“I would be disappointed if he didn’t step in and play right away,” veteran Bullitt East head coach Jeff Bowles said. “Everybody needs a left-handed stick. He can run and strong on defense.”