Kyle Keathley had plenty of time to make his college decision with school closed and organized baseball activities canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But the White House Heritage senior didn’t need long to mull his options.
Keathley announced his commitment Tuesday to continue his baseball career at Lindsey Wilson College, choosing the Raiders over offers from Bryan College and Campbellsville University. He visited the Columbia, Ky. school in February and went home impressed.
“The size of the campus was what I was looking for,” he said. “Everyone there seemed really nice. I want to study business, and they have a good program. It seemed like a fit.”
Keathley hit .364 with 40 base knocks and 24 RBI as a junior in 2019. He earned All-Robertson County honors from The Connection as a third baseman.
Before his senior season was halted in mid-March, Keathley moved back to his natural position of catcher, a spot previously held by All-Robertson County first-teamer and Roane State signee Trenton Gheen.
“I knew (Keathley) could catch, but we needed a third baseman (in 2018),” Heritage coach Chris Logsdon said. “He stepped right in and started working on it. He took ground balls over and over again and made good throws.”
Logsdon said Keathley’s consistent production at the plate demands a spot on the field – both at Heritage and at the next level. His ability to play multiple positions is also a plus, according to Logsdon.
“I talked to another college coach (Wednesday) and he told me, ‘If (the player) can hit, we’ll find a place for him,’” Logsdon said. “I think that’s who Kyle will be (for Lindsey Wilson).”
Lindsey Wilson assistant Ethan Utley told Keathley the Raiders are planning to use him primarily at catcher, though Keathley is open to utilizing his versatility if needed.
Keathley batted .242 during his first season on the varsity team in 2018. With help from Heritage assistant Rich Lopez and Todd Stinson of Cross the Seams in Springfield, Keathley boosted his average by more than 100 points last season. He also played with Pursuit Baseball the last two summers.
“My high school coaches helped me out a lot,” he said. “We practice every day from fall break to the end of the season, and then most of the summer. Just playing a lot (of games) and training.”
Thanks to his 3.9 GPA, Keathley will also have an academic scholarship at Lindsey Wilson. He is currently the Student Council president at Heritage and a member of the National Honor Society and Future Business Leaders of America.
Keathley said he and his teammates are trying to remain optimistic that some portion of their season will be salvaged. Robertson County Schools are closed until at least April 24 and all extracurriculars are on hold.
“It’s tough,” he said. “But we’re definitely still holding out hope. We are thinking the most optimistic way we can. Until they tell us it’s over, it’s not over to us. I’m planning on playing after April 24. That’s the mindset that we have.”