Wilson ‘ centerpiece’ for KCU’s new infield

Published 12:27 pm Tuesday, May 2, 2017

For Dane Wilson, starting at ground zero is a pretty lofty spot for him.

Kentucky Christian University is beginning a baseball program next fall and Wilson signed a letter of intent to be part of the inaugural class.

The Ironton Fighting Tigers’ senior baseball standout shortstop and pitcher picked KCU because of what starting and building a program will mean.

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“I think it’s great. I look forward to meeting all my new teammates,” said Wilson. “I think it’s cool that we’re all starting out at the same level and we’re all going for the same reason to play and no one really has a set spot so it’s going to be a really competitive and I look forward to it.”

There were plenty of suitors: Wittenberg, Ohio Wesleyan, Shawnee State, Rio Grande, Bluffton, Morehead State and Marshall. But KCU head coach Chris Hensley tipped the scales in his favor.

“I visited a lot of schools and I felt that KCU made me feel more at home and all the administrators were very helpful. They tried making me a pathway through schooling and coach

Hensley made sure that schooling came first.,” said Wilson. “Coach Hensley kind of mixed everything in. He made sure baseball wasn’t going to get in the way of my schooling. He’s going to schedule most of our games around our classes.”

While Hensley is making school the focal point for Wilson, he’s also making Wilson the focal point of his infield by projecting him as the team’s shortstop.

“Typically the shortstop is usually the best player you have. He’s one of our most athletic kids. He basically will pull our team together,” said Hensley.

Wilson is not only an outstanding shortstop and Ironton’s leading hitter, but he is also the Fighting Tigers’ top pitcher. Hensley won’t rule out Wilson going to the mound.

“Hopefully he’ll play shortstop, but he’s got an arm so we don’t know. He might be an ace (of the pitching staff). We’ve got a lot of arms, but until we get on the field we don’t know,” Hensley.

“I know where he’s going to fit in. He’s going to be playing up the middle. As far as pitching goes, we know he can do it. There’s going to be some great intra-squad games to start the season.”

Whether it’s shortstop of pitcher, Wilson doesn’t care.

“It doesn’t matter. Any way they can use me I’ll be ready,” said Wilson.

A four-year starter in baseball, Wilson played football as a freshman and was a talented running back.

“I really loved sports growing up and I really knew I wanted to go further no matter what sport,” said Wilson. “My freshman year of football I got a concussion and after that I just kind of limited it down to one and baseball was it. So I worked hard and stuck with it and now I’m here.”

Wilson knows he must focus all his attention on baseball at the college level.

“I know it’s going to be a challenge and the competition is going to be a lot better, but I think my work ethic I’m determined to do good and to work hard and just be prepared for the season.”

Wilson plans to major in nursing and working in nursing enthesitis.

Dane is the son of Dane and Julie Wilson.