By Chris McCarthy/ Publisher/Editor
After six years on the Westbrook Christian varsity, Jake Kilgo began a new chapter in his baseball career when he recently signed a scholarship with Southern Union Community College in Wadley.
Five months after knee injury ended Kilgo’s football career, the pitcher/outfielder helped the Warrior baseball team rebound from a 1-14 start to finish with a 14-22 record, a 10th straight area title and berth in the second round of the Class 2A state playoffs.
Kilgo’s 2014 stats include .404 batting average, .573 slugging percentage, .579 on base percentage, 36 hits, 38 runs, 11 RBI, 13 doubles and 18 steals. He also batted .300 with runners in scoring position. His career numbers include a .415 batting average, 73 stolen bases and a .541 on-base percentage. Kilgo recently was named to the 2014 Class 2A, All-Area 13 team. He was also named to the 2013 and 2012 All Area teams.
Kilgo was selected to the 2013 Class 2A All State Honorable Mention team after the Warriors finished as the Class 2A state runners-up. He also played in the Alabama Coaches Association Top 150 in Troy this past summer.
After beginning his varsity career in the 7th grade as a base runner, Kilgo started as a 9th grade in right field against American Christian Academy in the Class 2A state semifinals. Since that time, he has been the Warriors’ starting centerfielder and a member of the pitching rotation.
“I told SUCC [baseball] Coach [Joe] Jordan that he may no be getting the best ball player in the north, but he was getting the one with the most heart,” said Westbrook head baseball coach Matt Kennedy. “When Jake had his knee injury in football, he told me that he’d be back for the first [baseball] game, and sure enough, he was. Every day for the past six years, Jake’s been at every one of my practices..”
Kilgo joins a Bison team that currently is 29-19 overall and 14-9 in the Alabama Community College Conference Central Division standings.
“Jake’s going to be one of those kids that you’ll really miss,” said Kennedy. “It’s going to be hard to imagine looking into centerfield next year and seeing someone else. As a coach, you’re just fortunate and blessed have that type of kid with you for a few years.”
Kennedy sees Kilgo making an impact at the junior college level.
“Jake has the tools to hit at that level, but he’ll have to make some adjustments in his swing. Once he settles down and Coach Jordan has the chance to work with him, I can see Jake being a good fourth or fifth outfielder. And depending on how many guys are returning, Jake might roll into a starting position right off.”