Will Basil has been a force on the mound for West Union over the last three seasons, and will now take his game to the young and growing Blue Mountain College program.
The Eagles’ senior helped lead the team to the 2009 1A State Championship as well as another playoff appearance this season. Basil is now excited about the opportunity to play collegiately for Coach Curt Fowler’s squad.
“Ever since I pitched wellmy tenth grade year, I’ve been receiving stuff in the mail from different schools. I kept playing, but none of the offers came through until I heard from Blue Mountain,” he said of the recruiting process. “They showed me the most interest, and I like the coach, so I thought that was my best option and chose to sign with them.”
Basil was third on the team this season in batting average, hitting .386 with six home runs and 22 RBI. While Fowler is impressed with his offensive stats, it is Basil’s pitching that made him an obvious choice to the Toppers.
“Will is an outstanding player who is only going to get better over the next couple of years,” Fowler said. “He’s a really good offensive player but his real value to us will be as a pitcher. He’s got a good fast ball and good control of his breaking pitches. He’ll be a big help to us on the mound next year.”
On the mound, Basil appeared in six games, picking up five wins with a team-best .135 ERA while allowing six earned runs in 31 innings pitched. For Eagles’ head coach Ashley Russell, this is the first player that has signed at a four year school.
“One thing that I appreciated was that when he signed, all of the kids were excited for him. He’s the first I’ve had to sign at a four year school, and I think that speaks volumes for him and our program that we’ve had success.
“I wish him the best, and I think a lot of Coach Fowler myself, so I think they’ll be successful up there.”
Basil will join the Toppers’ program that just completed their inaugural season, going 16-35 overall, 4-20 in TranSouth Athletic Conference play. The Toppers currently boast four Union County athletes (Clint Hodges, Zane Treadaway, Justin Jordan and Brandon Cook).
“What I’ve noticed and liked about the team so far is that Coach Fowler treats his players like they’re his own kids,” Basil said. “Yeah, it’s a baseball team, but it’s not just showing up and playing, he knows all of them and it’s like a family up there.”
Basil and the Eagles finished the 2011 season with a 16-12 record, 8-2 in Region 2-1A, falling to Greenville St. Joe in the second round of the 1A state playoffs. He is also one of four Eagles selected to the first team All-Division for Region 2-1A.