With only two high school seasons under his belt, Somerset High School senior standout pitcher Jonathan Phipps signed a DI college scholarship to play at Ohio University.
"I got recruited by Ohio when Coach Wamsley, now a Detroit Tigers Minor League coach, saw me pitch one game in the summer," Phipps recalled. "As soon as I saw the environment that Athens (Ohio) had to offer, I fell in love with the campus.The coaching staff was very professional, and showed great interest in me."
Phipps' talent on the short time he has spent on the high school baseball field, and his extensive experience at high-level summer league baseball, was enough to convince the college recruiters he should be playing at a high college level.
"The summer team that I played for, the Cincinnati Spikes, competed in the best tournaments that offered a lot of exposure," Phipps stated. "So, I knew I had to do my best during the summer."
As a freshman, Phipps made a strong impression on Briar Jumper veteran baseball coach Phil Grundy. In 15 innings pitched in 2018, Phipps had a 0.93 ERA and struck out 15 batters.
As a sophomore in 2019, Phipps was a part of a strong Somerset pitching staff that led the Jumpers to the 12th Region Tournament crown. In 2019, Phipps pitched 51.2 innings, struck out 55 batters and picked up four wins.
Perhaps, Phipps best effort of the 2019 season came in the 47th District Tournament against cross-town rivals Pulaski County High School. In a game that went 13 innings, Phipps pitched the last five innings in relief allowing no runs, only two hits and striking out five Maroon batters. After the Briar Jumpers pulled out the dramatic 2-1 win, Phipps earned the pitching win in relief.
Despite missing his junior high school season, Phipps used summer travel team baseball to display his pitching talents.
With his college plans now has set, Phipps now has his sights set on finishing out with a strong senior high school season.
"My goals for this baseball season are to claim the state championship ring that we have all worked so hard for, and that we deserve," Phipps vaunted. "I also want to become the best version of myself so that I will standout in college."
STEVE CORNELIUS is the CJ Sports Editor and can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @CJSportseditor.