Big showcase lands big program for North outfielder

Columbus North standout Grant Trinkle has always dreamed of playing college baseball in the Southeastern Conference.

Now, the incoming junior is just two years away from living out his dream without leaving too far from home after committing to the University of Kentucky. Trinkle, who originally committed to Evansville, decommitted a little more than a month ago to weigh all his options.

“I didn’t really have any idea of where I wanted to go or where I would end up,” Trinkle said. “But then I realized that Kentucky was where I wanted to be.”

The window of opportunity opened for Trinkle after he participated in the Perfect Game Junior National Showcase in Atlanta two weeks ago. The Junior National Showcase is a two-day showcase where athletes are evaluated on their 60-yard dash, batting mechanics, field and throwing ability and other aspects of the game. The players participated in a few scrimmage games during the second day.

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North coach Ben McDaniel said about 25 schools were interested in Trinkle after the showcase, including Clemson, Alabama and Oklahoma State. McDaniel said that Trinkle did a good job of showcasing his talents during the first day, but also translated those skills into real game activity on Day 2. His 6.45-second 60-yard dash didn’t hurt either.

“That number alone probably would have got more than half the schools in even without the throwing and the hitting,” McDaniel said.

Trinkle had options after the showcase, but he felt like Kentucky was the best fit for him. New Wildcats coach Nick Mingione and the fact that Kentucky is just a couple hours from home were major factors into his decision.

“With it being in the SEC and only two hours away, and they just built a $50 million new facility, just the combination of those three things was hard to beat,” Trinkle said. “Another thing is last year, the Kentucky baseball team broke multiple attendance records, so just having that fan base and playing in a new facility, it’ll be great.”

Trinkle is expected to play in one of the outfield positions once he arrives in Kentucky.

Grant Trinkle was on track to reunite with his older brother Cooper who just finished his freshman year playing for Evansville. However, Cooper Trinkle transfered to John A. Logan Community College in Illinois and will be looking to join another Division l program after next season.

“It would have been great to have the opportunity to play with him again,” Trinkle said. “But at the end of the day, you have to do what’s best for you. I know he’ll find the right fit for him, and I know that I found the best fit for me, so we’ll both be fine, and it’ll be all good.”

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Name: Grant Trinkle

School: Columbus North

Year: Will be a junior

Position: Outfield 

Key stats: Batted .247 with nine RBIs and 17 runs scored as a sophomore