Inside the Recruitment: 2018 Southpaw Jacob Gilcrest Commits to Louisville

By Phil Wade

Indiana Executive Director

Center Grove High School 2018 left-handed pitcher Jacob Gilcrest recently committed to Louisville. The 6-foot-5, 193 pounder made a big jump on the mound this fall running his fastball up to 90 mph at a tournament in Florida and then a week later at the 2018 Underclass Preview touching 89.  

PBR: Why did you choose Louisville? What were some key factors in making your decision?

Gilcrest: The reason I chose Louisville is because when I visited I felt like it was the right fit for me. They've had players from Indiana have success and overall program success for a long time. Also playing in the ACC is a dream. Getting to play at the highest level of college baseball. Also the coaching staff at Louisville knows how to win and they have had a ton of success over the last few years. 

PBR: Where did they first see you compete?

Gilcrest: They first saw me compete at the WWBA World Series in Fort Myers over Fall Break 2016. 

PBR: What other schools were you considering?

Gilcrest: I was considering NC State, Cincinnati, Ball State, Indiana, and East Carolina. 

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it as expected? Easy/Difficult?

Gilcrest: The recruiting process went by a lot quicker than I expected, it wasn't as stressful as people had told me it would be. 

PBR: What were you looking for out of a college program to continue you baseball career?

Gilcrest: I was looking for a school that would develop me as a baseball player and a person, and put me in the best position to play professional baseball. I thought Louisville gave me the best opportunity to succeed. 

PBR: When did the recruiting process really start to heat up for you?  Was there a particular game or event that you feel turned the corner for you?

Gilcrest: It started to heat up the first game I pitched in Fort Myers, it was the first time that I had hit 90 and I just started to hit a huge velocity jump. After that game I had started to talk to a lot of schools including Louisville. 

PBR: At what point in your career did you realize you were a college caliber player and become serious about taking your game to the next level?

Gilcrest:  I've always had a dream of playing D1 baseball, and I knew that I had a projectable body being 6'5 and left handed. I knew that once I hit 90 that I would start to get a lot more looks and exposure. 

PBR: Who is the best player you've faced in Indiana, and why?

Gilcrest: The best player that I've faced in the state of Indiana is Michael McAvene, we faced him in semi-state and it took everything we had to get him out of the game. He got out of a ton of tough situations and I can't wait to team up with him in Louisville. 

PBR: What advice would you give to young baseball players striving to get where you are?

Gilcrest: I would tell young baseball players to not let what other people tell you affect them, anything is possible if you work hard enough. 

PBR: What is the most memorable moment in your baseball career to this point?

Gilcrest: My most memorable moment is definitely winning Regionals last year, I loved the team we had being such a close group and spending so much time together. Winning Regionals really showed us how good of a team we were and how our work had payed off. 

PBR: Preview your high school season for us.  How do you feel your team will be?  What are your expectations and goals?

Gilcrest: I think we will have a very good team this year, we have a lot of younger guys that will step up and a lot of guys that are new to the varsity scene and I'm looking forward to it. I think our goal as a team every year is to try and win the MIC and I think everyone on our team thinks we can do that. 

PBR: Where do you play in the summer?  What has been your most memorable experience with them?

Gilcrest: During the summer I play with the 17u Indiana Bulls Black, this is my first year playing with them and I'm really excited to play with a bunch of guys that all love the game and to play with some future college teammates as well.