|Sat, Apr 19, 2014 05:27 AM
Acton heads to Chicago State
September 03, 2008 | 08:28 AM
At the end of the high school baseball season, Lanesville 2008 graduate Kenton Acton knew he wanted to continue his baseball career at the next level.
Through assistance from College Prospectus of America, a marketing service for college-bound student athletes, Acton was able to get his name out to various college baseball programs.
|Lanesville graduate Kenton Acton will play baseball at Chicago State next season.|
Many inquiries later, Acton became the first male athlete from Lanesville to sign with a NCAA Division I team, choosing Chicago State University.
"I had other schools show interest (from College Prospectus)," Acton said. "But all along I wanted to go Division I and play against a lot of tough schools. I decided I wanted to go there (Chicago State)."
The decision came quickly, just a few weeks before the start of the fall semester.
"I visited a week before school started," Acton said of the college located 20 minutes south of downtown Chicago. "I liked it and it has a real nice campus."
A four-year starter at Lanesville, Acton averaged .396 at the plate, including hitting at a .459 clip his senior season. The right-handed hitter also belted 19 home runs over his prep career.
During the 2006 season, he missed 12 games because he cut off the tip of his left index finger, which had to be sewn back on, and, in 2007, he missed about six games due to a stress fracture in his foot.
At Chicago State, Acton looks to play third base and pitch. On the hill, he went 3-3 last season for the Eagles, keeping a low 2.63 ERA while striking out 56 batters.
"He has a chance to step in and play right away," said Lanesville baseball coach Sean Smith. "It's great that a little school like Lanesville to have Division I schools come calling. It could certainly open the doors for other people."
Smith, also Acton's uncle, said the 6-1, 223-pound slugger has a lot of potential.
"He is the only kid I know that can take the worst pitch at the plate and hit it as far as he can," Smith said. "He is freakishly strong. Once he gets disciplined at the plate, we will see how good he can be. It's a great opportunity and a blessing for him."
Acton initially considered Franklin College until utilizing the Baseball Prospectus. From there, he considered Dana College (Neb.) and Indiana University Southeast.
"For some of our younger players, it has opened their eyes that even coming from a little school, you can play ball in college," Smith said. "We've come into some talent the last couple of years. Now this can help get more names out over the next couple of years."
Other schools like Appalachian State, Florida Atlantic and Erie Community College also had interest in Acton's talents.
Acton, whose major is still undecided, said fall practices begin next week. The Cougars went 8-42 last season.