Peebles senior right hander signs letter of intent to join the UC-Clermont diamond squad for the 2019 campaign –
By Mark Carpenter –
Yet another Adams County student/athlete will be taking their ability to the collegiate level as in a late May ceremony, Peebles senior Stephen Penn inked his letter of intent to pursue a college baseball career with the UC-Clermont Cougars, one of the most successful small college baseball programs in America, fresh off another appearance in the USCAA World Series.
The right-handed throwing Penn has been the ace of the Peebles pitching staff for the past couple of seasons, while also being able to display his versatility by manning other positions when he was not on the hill.
“Coming from a small town, the closest nice baseball program is UC-Clermont, Said Penn. “It’s a well-rounded school with a pretty good team. I went up and met the coaches and some of the players. Kyle Taylor was on their pitching staff and I had played against him before.” (Taylor is a West Union High School graduate.)
“Watching Kyle play got me interested in the school. It’s close to home with low tuition, what more can you ask for? They actually came and watched me pitch one inning while they were going around and seeing players. I was throwing the ball hard that day but they said they would work with me to get some more velocity on my fastball.”
The Peebles baseball program did struggle in 2018, with Penn being one of the elder statesmen on a very young Indians squad.
“It was frustrating sometimes as a pitcher but the game was still fun,” Penn said as he reflected on his time at Peebles. “My sophomore year was one of the best baseball seasons I have ever had and when I didn’t make All-Conference, it just made me work harder. I’ve had to transition through different coaches and then this past spring we really had a young team out there, but it was still fun.”
Also on hand for the signing ceremony was Peebles assistant baseball coach Brian Seaman, who was glowing in his praise of Penn’s high school efforts and character.
”I have had the privilege of coaching Stephen since sixth grade and he has always been the kind of kid that you want to coach, one that wants to listen,” said Seaman. “He helped us win a sectional as a freshman and has really been a leader on our team for all four years. I’m very proud of him being able to continue playing baseball. He has great parents and is a good young man on top of that.”
“Peebles is known for basketball so it is nice to see one of our baseball kids get an offer. Too see him from sixth grade to now is a very proud moment for me as a coach.”
UC-Clermont is coached by Keith Bauman and a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association and this spring were ranked number one in the country before falling in the USCAA World Series.
While at UC-Clermont, Penn plans to study Criminal Justice.