Baseball gets commitment from JUCO middle infielder Thursday evening

by - Senior Writer -

Head coach Jack LeggettJack Leggett
Baseball Head Coach
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and the Clemson baseball team picked up a huge commitment Thursday night from Shane Kennedy, a JUCO middle infielder out of Florida that expects to have an instant impact in 2013.

Kennedy – who plays for Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville, Fla. - was offered by Clemson coach Bradley LeCroy Tuesday night, and accepted the offer Thursday night.

Kennedy is in the middle of a stellar season at Santa Fe, hitting a robust .361 with eight homers, seven doubles, six triples, 30 runs batted in and 30 runs scored.

He told TigerNet Thursday evening that the Clemson coaches – acting on the advice of a current Tiger – came down and watched him play last week.

“Probably a week or so ago, they came and watched me play,” Kennedy said shortly after calling LeCroy with his decision. “Dominic AttanasioDominic Attanasio
So. Outfielder
#1 5-7, 160
Windermere, FL

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, he played with me in high school and is a buddy of mine. He helped me out, and he told the coaches to come and take a look. And a former Clemson player, Brad MillerBrad Miller
#13 6-1, 185
Windermere, FL

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, he also played with me in high school.”

The trio attended Olympia High School in Orlando, and he said he talked with Miller and Attanasio about what it was like to play for Clemson.

The fact that the Tigers play in the competitive ACC also helped.

“For one, they are in the ACC, and I definitely want to play at a higher level of baseball,” he said. “They have a great program from what I hear. And then I got all of my opinions from Brad and from Dom, and they said they absolutely loved it.”

It was that desire to play at a higher level that led him to the JUCO ranks – he committed to the University of North Florida out of high school – in the hopes of getting noticed.

“There were several other schools that were talking to me,” he said. “There was a lot of talk through this whole deal –Auburn called, Florida called, and I had offers from Florida Atlantic and Oral Roberts and some other schools. Leaving UNF was my own choice; it just didn’t work for me. I wanted to play a higher level of baseball, and I didn’t think they would take me to where I want to be in the next couple of years.”

He said heading into this season, he decided to stop worrying about the future and just have fun, and that has showed up in the results he has achieved on the field.

“Honestly, I am just trying to have fun with it,” he said. “I just wanted to find a school where I could go and have fun playing baseball. I knew there was nothing else I could. I just wanted to go out and have fun, and if it was meant to happen, it would.”

Kennedy said the message from the Clemson coaches was a simple one.

“They said they were happy I could play all three positions in the infield,” he said. “They told me I will play somewhere in the infield and hit in the middle of the lineup.”

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