Maybe in a few years David Asbill, a Reagan graduate heading to Averett University in Danville, Va., to play baseball, will appreciate the lesson he learned about bouncing back from adversity.
Last November, Asbill signed to play at Division II Winston-Salem State, but that didn’t work out because in March the school announced that the program was being disbanded for financial reasons after nine seasons. So Asbill, who helped the Raiders to a 21-7 record this past spring, had to look elsewhere if he wanted to play baseball in college.
He’ll get that chance at Division III Averett and will play for Coach Kenny Fleming. While Division III schools don’t have athletic scholarships, Asbill will get a chance to play as well as further his education. Averett competes in the USA South Athletic Conference.
“It was really tough because even at that stage in March it’s hard to start applying for colleges where you can get accepted for this fall,” Asbill said. “Luckily it worked out at Averett and I’ll be going there, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Asbill, who played in the outfield and also pitched a few innings for the Raiders, hit .243 with a home run and eight RBIs to go along with 18 runs scored and five stolen bases. He pitched 8 1/3 innings, compiling a 1-0 record with one save and a 2.52 ERA. He had 10 strikeouts and allowed three walks in his brief time on the mound.
“He solidified our outfield,” said Coach Gary Nail of Reagan. “David had a good year… I think he will have a very good college career, and he works hard and has a desire to get better.”
Asbill said he’s undecided about his major but is leaning toward business finance.
“I liked the campus a lot and the North Campus, where all the athletic fields are located, is very nice,” Asbill said. “I really wanted to play in college because my dad (Darren) also played at Mississippi State.”
Fleming, who will begin his second season at Averett, will welcome 13 freshmen this fall. He said landing Asbill late in the recruiting season was a bonus.
“His impact will be massive for our program,” said Fleming, whose first team this past spring went 8-30. “He’s a legit lead-off hitter with some power, who can steal bases, and play the outfield well.”
After committing to Averett, Asbill was contacted by some other schools but decided against looking elsewhere.
“My mind was made up about going to Averett,” Asbill said. “I didn’t really want to continue the recruiting process. I’m glad it worked out because it was pretty stressful in March when Winston-Salem State made the announcement it was ending its program.”
Kevin Ritsche, who is the former head baseball coach of WSSU, said he’s glad to hear that Asbill found another school to play for.
“Rob Woodall (a WSSU assistant coach) recruited David locally and he knew David and his family pretty good,” Ritsche said. “I think he’ll do very well there at Averett, and it’s good that he’ll get a chance to play.”