ROCKINGHAM — Gordon Pihl made a lifelong dream come true early Monday morning when he signed his letter of intent to play college baseball at Brunswick Community College.
He was joined in the school library by his parents (Gordon and Virginia Pihl), his coaches (Ricky Young, Brad Denson, Andy Shuler), and a handful of teammates who watched with nothing but smiles on their faces.
“Ever since I was little, it was the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do,” Pihl said of playing college baseball. “I feel like Brunswick can be a good place for me, a good fit for right now to keep my opportunities open.
“This makes me feel good, but I’m still looking to improve and get better.”
Pihl is a senior catcher for the Richmond baseball team who caught the eye of a few programs, according to Young, with a solid showing in the team’s run through the Central Carolina Scholastic Summer League last summer.
Of those who became interested, head Brunswick coach Robbie Allen and his history of developing players at the junior-college level is what stuck out the most as Pihl and Young talked throughout the process.
Pihl is also pleased with the fact that his two recruiting visits went well, Allen complimented his hitting, and he’ll have the chance to show his versatility by playing multiple positions (catcher, first baseman, third baseman).
“I think this is a great opportunity,” Young said. “Gordon will do well there and have an opportunity to come right in and play. It’ll give him a chance to have a good career at Brunswick and then move on to another school.”
Because Brunswick is a community college, Pihl will have two years of eligibility with then Dolphins and then two more with whatever college/university gives him a scholarship or he chooses to attend. He doesn’t have another school in mind at the time, saying “I’m open to anything” and “I just want to keep playing as long as I can.”
As far as his high school career goes, the senior is looking to end his final campaign in a special way.
The Raiders are off to a 4-1 start and have a chemistry that, Pihl says, was absent from last year’s team. He has a 94.6 fielding percentage, a team-high 34 put outs, 2 hits (RBI single, double) and a run scored in the five games played this season.
His RBI single in the season-opening win over Anson brought in fellow senior Drew Loving and gave the team a 6-0 lead at the bottom of the second inning. The double was apart of Richmond’s sixth-inning rally against Charlotte Christian, which ultimately fell short, this past Saturday.
“I feel like we’re going to do something special this year, so I hope we can keep that up,” he said. “I think the main thing for me is being a leader, giving the team something to look up to. If I can help keep the team on track, we can really do something good.”
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. by phone at 910-817-2673 or by email at [email protected] For stories, scores and updates, follow the Daily Journal’s sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.