CELINA — Trevor Kill found a little psychological edge for his relief appearance on an otherwise sleepy night in Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League play.
Kill, a Southeast Missouri State pitcher and St. Marys Memorial grad, worked 1 and 1-3 innings of scoreless relief against a Lima Locos team that turned him away.
While he was in there to get some work in during a blowout, Kill could take pride in his effort on a night little else went right for Grand Lake in a 12-4 loss to the Locos.
“I’ve tried playing for Lima the last couple of years and they didn’t take me because I was a JUCO guy,” Kill said. “I got my Division I scholarship and they didn’t want me. So I’ve had some heat for these guys. So whenever I go out there against them, I try to give them my best stuff, just to kind of tell them, ‘Hey, I can do it.’ It’s good to come out and do well against these guys.”
Even as his team trailed 8-1 and is in the middle of a grinding 10 games in eight days slog through Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League play, Kill put so much oomph into one pitch that he twirled to the ground after releasing it.
With the Mariners, Kill is one of the more experienced players on the team. He hopes a little of that maturity rubs off on his teammates.
“I’m one of the older guys on the team,” Kill said. “I just want to come out here and show these guys that it doesn’t matter what your age is. I know it’s summer ball — but to be good you have to work hard.”
His parents only got to see him pitch twice this season for Southeast Missouri State.
“It’s good to pitch close to home,” Kill said. “We played Wright State and my parents came out to Missouri to watch me pitch once.”
Kill got the final out of the top of the fifth on one pitch and then went back out for the sixth and struck out a batter while stranding two on base.
A psychology major at Southeast Missouri State, Kill has worked his way up from his time as a power-armed but unfinished pitcher at St. Marys to the corn belt — a hotbed of college baseball and a proper finishing school for anyone looking to hone their game.
“It was good to get away from the area and see some good ball,” Kill said.
“I feel privileged, because there’s only six or seven guys from our area still playing in college at a high level,” Kill said.
For two years at Butler County Community College in El Dorado, Kansas, Kill polished his repertoire and found he was able to concentrate on baseball at the junior college.
“Honestly, I had the best time of my life at Butler County Community College,” Kill said. “The football program was unbelievable and I was able to work those games. I would watch college football games on ESPN and say, ‘Wow, I remember when I saw them play at my JUCO.’ I met a lot of good people out there.”
The step up to Division I baseball at Southeast Missouri State means fewer carefree days, as the day-in, day-out schedule of major college baseball takes a toll.
“It’s a grind,” Kill said. “The academics are at a higher standard. They don’t care if you’re an athlete. I ended up 3.0 GPA and I’m proud of that, but with the schedule it’s a grind.”
Grand Lake slipped to 5-6 on the season.View more articles in: