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Passion is something that all college athletes have. Some don’t know from where the passion comes. But that is not the case for Keene State College senior, Kyle Morrill.
A member of the KSC baseball team, Kyle Morrill is from Auburn, N.H. As a member of the 2006 Memorial High School baseball team, Morrill earned a state championship. He was also a first team New Hampshire All-State selection as a junior in high school. Morrill continued embracing his passion for baseball by joining the KSC baseball team.
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Morrill’s passion for baseball started at a very young age, all thanks to his family.
“My father, Kyle’s grandfather, was quite the baseball fanatic. Kyle grew up around it. It was all about the game. Our whole family just loves baseball like most kids growing up in America. Baseball is the game, for us anyways,” Ken Morrill, the KSC senior’s father, said.
Ever since Kyle Morrill could walk, he has loved the game, his father said.
KSC Head Baseball Coach Ken Howe helped keep Morrill’s love for the game alive following his high school career.
“Kyle is a special kid. He’s a very good student. Obviously, he’s also a great athlete. Not just baseball but everything he does: he’s good at,” Howe said. “He’s got that God-given athletic ability that he’s been able to transfer onto the baseball field over the last four years.”
Morrill is off to a great start to his senior season, despite a five game suspension that kicked off the regular season. Morrill leads the team in slugging percentage (.629), hits (17), home runs (1), and stolen bases (6).
Morrill’s five game suspension doesn’t seem to affect his performance thus far.
“I think the suspension made him look forward to getting out on the field a little more,” Howe said. “He made a mistake, we dealt with it, he manned up, and it is what it is.”
“Sitting out those first five games was kind of tough. Especially for those games we lost, because we felt a little responsible,” Morrill said.
He added, “What I did was very selfish. And now I am just trying to become a better team player.”
Morrill’s success this season can be attributed to his enhanced effort during the previous off-season, according to his teammate, junior pitcher, Johnny Coughlin.
“I think last year, he knew he struggled a little bit with the strike outs. And I think so far this year, he has improved in that category. He’s swinging at all the pitches that he thinks he should swing at and I don’t think he’s questioning himself at all at the plate,” Coughlin said. Morrill’s comfort level at the plate also has a lot to do with his success this season.
“I think my experience has helped me a lot this season. Being a senior now, I have had three years of college ball. I’ve gotten to see a lot of different pitchers. And I’m more confident in myself to get the job down now,” he said.
“His success has mostly been about his comfort factor. Up until this point, he hasn’t really known where he was going to be playing,” Howe said. “Kyle has been bounced around from one position to another for the past three years.”
He added, “Right now, he’s an outfielder. And for him to know that, coming into games, is good for him. He never has to question where he will be playing.”
Morrill’s modesty also helps him be a very good teammate.
“In my eyes, I’m no more special or less special than anyone else on the team. For the most part, I just do what the coach is telling me to do. If you’re in the line-up then you’re in the line-up. But if not, you just have to cheer on your teammates and be the best teammate you can be,” Morrill said.
Being a tough out for opposing pitchers is something else that has helped Morrill be effective.
“I don’t hit so I don’t know what his approach is at the plate, but I know he’s a tough out to get for me when we are in the batting cage. So I’m sure he’s a tough out for any other pitcher in the Little East,” Coughlin said.
Although Morrill’s achievements this season are something to be happy about, maintaining this success would make his teammates and coaches even happier with him.
“To maintain this success, he needs to keep working hard like he has been. Baseball is a tough sport. It would be great to see him continue to hit how he’s been hitting. But this is a tough game to be consistent in,” Coach Howe said.
Kyle Morrill’s father attributes his son’s success to something else, the KSC coaching staff.
“If he’s blossomed at all in the past four years, it’s because of the coaches at KSC. They have contributed to his success so much over the years. And that’s something Kyle can’t praise them enough for,” Ken Morrill said.
No matter what the reason is for the KSC senior’s performance so far this season, the fact is that he is performing as best as he can. His teammates and coaches hope to see his hard work pay off for the remainder of Morrill’s senior season.
Michelle Berthiaume can be contacted at email@example.com