Last Friday at Franklin-Simpson High School, Wildcat graduate baseball player Hunter Crafton signed his letter of intent to play college baseball at Kentucky Wesleyan College.
Crafton becomes the fourth Wildcat baseball player and 15th student athlete overall to play a sport on the collegiate level. He will join the Panthers' team that has former Franklin-Simpson Wildcat Rylan Thomas and Russellville Panther Jordan Blick.
"I went on a visit there about three months ago. The campus was like this high school and I liked the atmosphere," Hunter Crafton said. "The facilities [were] very nice. I like the turf infield and that will be pretty cool to play on. I talked to the coaches and the head coach (Todd Lillpop) reminds me so much of Coach Gammons and that was another reason why it felt right for me to be there. I am really excited to continue playing. I have been playing so long, it just doesn't seem right to not be playing this game."
Kentucky Wesleyan College is a private Methodist college in Owensboro, Kentucky. The college is known for its liberal arts programs.
"As everyone has said all this year, it was good to have Hunter back here in Franklin," said Wildcats' boys golf coach and athletics director Matt Wilhite. "I didn't get to coach him in baseball but I did this season for the golf team and wish I could have had another year with him because as the season went on, He was a big asset to the team. Once you get to know him, he is an unbelievable kid, just like a lot of our student athletes here, Very humble, very well mannered and I am very proud of him. It is a pleasure to see these kids accomplish their dream of furthering their athletic career and can get their academics degree. I am very proud of everything you did for Franklin-Simpson High School"
Crafton was part of this season's team that finished with an overall record of 20-19 and was the 13th District regular season co-champions and tournament champions.
Crafton played multiple positions as an infielder, outfielder and pitcher as he played in 32 games this season. In 61 at bats, he had 18 hits with two home runs, 13 runs batted in and scored 10 runs. He had 14 singles, a double, a triple and was walked 11 times for a batting average of .295. As a pitcher, he was 1-1 with an earned run average of 6.12. In eight innings pitched, he allowed 11 runs, seven of them were earned, on eight hits with nine strikeouts and nine walks in 181 pitches thrown.
"The district championship is always exciting to win and Hunter was a big part of that this year," Wildcats baseball head coach Kyle Gammons said. "Really excited for him to have this opportunity to play baseball on the college level but more importantly, he gets to continue his education and see what he can do in the next four to five years at Kentucky Wesleyan. Glad that he and his family came back to Franklin and be part of our baseball family. Really enjoyed coaching Hunter and with the rest of the family supporting Franklin-Simpson baseball."
Crafton is undecided on his major entering his freshman year at Kentucky Wesleyan.