ShareThis Page

Springdale grad Killian shines on diamond for Allegheny

Bill Beckner Jr.
| Saturday, May 25, 2013, 1:06 a.m.
Allegheny freshman third baseman Joe Killian, a Springdale graduate, was named NCAC Newcomer of the Year.
Allegheny freshman third baseman Joe Killian, a Springdale graduate, was named NCAC Newcomer of the Year.

For many high school baseball players, the adjustment to the college game can be a trying process. It can take months, even years, to adapt and find a consistent spot in the lineup.

But for Joe Killian, the transition was swift.

And the Springdale graduate has the hardware to prove it.

A freshman third baseman at Allegheny College, Killian was named North Coast Athletic Conference Newcomer of the Year, just the third player in school history to earn that distinction.

He went from trying to earn playing time to being one of the Gators' top offensive weapons in the 10-team conference.

Killian led the Gators in several categories, including batting average (.374), slugging percentage (.489), on-base percentage (.485), total bases (64), doubles (11) and runs scored (31).

The Gators finished 26-16 and reached the NCAC championship game.

“I didn't come in with predetermined expectations,” said Killian, who also was a standout quarterback at Springdale. “I just wanted to play my game. I knew that if I played like I can, I could make it onto the field.”

Killian ranked in the top 10 in hitting in the conference for much of the season, but perhaps the most telling stat that shows his readiness for Division III baseball: he also led the team in walks with 28.

The next closest player had 17.

The clean-up hitter, he was pitched around numerous times and also walked intentionally on several occasions.

Killian, who also received All-NCAC honorable mention honors, drove in 31 runs, the second-highest total on the team.

He started the second game of the season, then 39 more after that. He had the game-winning RBI against Hamilton College in a game played in Auburndale, Fla.

Later in the season, he drove in seven runs against Pitt-Bradford.

“They told me when I was coming out of high school that if I worked hard, I had a chance to see the field,” Killian said. “I put in a lot of hard work. I had a good perspective as a freshman. Guys are older than you, and they're bigger and stronger. You have to work hard and be perfect.

“Our whole team worked hard.”

Killian (6-foot, 185 pounds) said he's most impressed with his on-base percentage.

“That's one of the things that stood out to me,” he said.

Killian seems to be paying more attention to detail at the college level, something he believes will make him an even better player in the future.

“The biggest difference (from high school baseball) is all of the little things,” he said. “Mental mistakes add up, and they come back to hurt you. There are a lot of close games. You have more evenly matched teams. One mental error can cost you a game.”

Division II schools courted Killian, who was one of the WPIAL's top hitters as a senior. He led the league with 40 RBI.

Killian, though, has no regrets about choosing Allegheny.

“The main difference you see with Division II is the pitchers and catchers are so much better,” he said. “I feel like I had a good season, but now I want to set a higher goal. It gives me the motivation to eclipse what I did before.”

A former American Legion standout, Killian will keep busy this summer playing for Wexford in the Butler Eagle County League.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.