ROCKINGHAM — A year-long process finally came to an end last week when Richmond’s Alex Anderson revealed that he will be continuing his baseball career at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland.
The senior outfielder had known for a while that suiting up for the Blue Jays — while also getting an education from such a “rigorous academic school” — would be a great fit for both sides, but everyone involved had to wait and see if Anderson would get accepted into one of the 10-best undergraduate programs in the country.
Once the admissions letter came to Anderson’s email, stating that he would be able to enroll into the private school, the Hopkins’ coaching staff offered him a spot on the team — and the future Blue Jay accepted.
“It’s really exciting because over the past year, that’s where I’ve wanted to go,” he said of his verbal commitment. “I really liked it up there, so that was my No. 1 (choice).”
The road to Johns Hopkins started around this time last year following a conversation Anderson had with his travel-ball coach in the dugout before a game. After revealing that he had scored a 34 on the American College Testing (ACT), it was recommended that Anderson take a closer look into school and its baseball program.
Anderson’s research eventually led to him making a trip up to Maryland last October for a baseball camp, one in which he says he performed “really well.” He and the Blue Jays’ coaching staff stayed in contact over the winter and spring months, he went back for a couple more camps this past summer, and that’s when talks became more serious.
“I went up there for another visit (this summer), met with the coach in his office and talked for about an hour,” he said. “They’re really good, so I’m excited that I’ll be able to go somewhere where I can win.”
Johns Hopkins’ baseball program competes on the Division III level, in the Centennial Conference, and is coming off its fourth consecutive winning season. Two seasons ago, the Blue Jays were the fourth-ranked team in the nation, won 21 games in a row, and earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
“I just want to help them win,” the future Blue Jay said.
As a junior this past season, Anderson helped the Richmond baseball team to a 18-8 overall record — and a 9-5 finish in regular-season conference play — by racking up 16 hits, 15 runs scored, 13 stolen bases and seven RBI.
He and the Raiders enjoyed a 12-game winning streak during the 2018 campaign and advanced to the second round of the 4A NCHSAA State Playoffs, where they were the No. 15 seed, before being bounced by East Forsyth.
Anderson’s hoping for a different ending next spring, his last go-round at Richmond.
“Work out, get bigger and stronger, and just listen to coach (Ricky) Young and all of the coaches out here. I just want to get better,” Anderson said of his goals. “I want to win conference, get in the (state) playoffs, and see what happens.”
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.