Prep Baseball Report

Cornell Has The Right Balance Of Academics And Athletics For Keene

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR New England Senior Writer

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Cornell Has The Right Balance Of Academics And Athletics For Keene

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Sam Keene LHP / OF / Boston College, MA / 2024

COHASSET, Ma. - A visit to Cornell gave Sam Keene a glimpse of what he was looking for in a college.

“I found out exactly what I wanted,” the Boston College High School senior related. “High academics, D-I baseball, brand new facilities and great people. They gave me an offer at the end of the visit and I accepted the next day.”

Cornell began following the 27th-rated 2024 left-handed pitcher in New England in the spring and that interest continued during travel ball.

“I was putting together a good year and they eventually came to see one of my games,” Keene reflected. “They followed me and in the summer came to see a number of my games with NEB and in Georgia.”

The 6-4 185-pounder made quite an impression.

“They love my command and my mound presence,” Keene revealed. “Having command is something they appreciate and it makes me a better player.”

Keene appreciates what Cornell has to offer.

“I’ve always prioritized academics,” Keene noted. “That balance with D-I baseball at Cornell, I couldn’t turn it down.”

Keene credited older brother Matthew with being an inspiration in his quest to play at the next level.

“My brother played at Williams and I wanted to go on the same path as him to play college baseball,” Keene explained. “When I was a freshman is when I figured out I wanted to do the same thing, I just did my own path.”

An improved game helped the cause in getting college interest.

“Training at Cressy over the winter I realized I needed to get my velo up,” the eighth-rated senior LHP in Massachusetts said. “By spring I was putting up a good resume and things started to heat up quickly. I was always tall but didn’t have strength but going to Cressy three times a week played a big part in a velocity jump. I was 84 as a sophomore and 88 this year.”

It helped bring an end to a recruiting process that included interest from other Ivy League schools along with an offer from Holy Cross.

“I started off going to a PBR showcase and didn’t do too great, but it helped me prepare for future camps and showed me I needed to focus on strength,” Keene reflected about his recruitment. “I sent out emails, did a PBR showcase and played in tournaments with NEB as a freshman and the same thing as a sophomore while starting to create relationships. This year I told coaches where to see me and continued to build relationships, going to PBR showcases and to camps.

“Once coaches saw me I started doing tours and visits. After that, it all happened quickly. I know I made the right choice.”

It is a choice that will involve challenges for the 18-year-old, who carries a 4.08 GPA at Boston College and is planning to major in economics at Cornell.

“It will be a challenge, but it’s why I accepted,” Keene explained. “I want to be challenged in the classroom and on the field. I know it will be a lot of work, but I’ve got to get better on the field and the same thing in the classroom. It’s going to be cool to grow academically as well as athletically.”

The 133rd-ranked 2024 in Massachusetts believes he can make an impact at the Ivy League university in Ithaca, N.Y.

“I’m very good at throwing strikes and not walking people,” Keene pointed out. “On and off the field I’ll be a hard worker, both in the classroom and helping us win games.”

Keene gave credit to his father, Mark Keene, and NEB coaches Scott Patterson and Mike Abraham in addition to BC High head coach Stephen Healy with playing a role in becoming a Cornell commit.

“It was a long process with some ups and downs you have to get over but in the end everyone was super excited,” Keene said. “To be able to go to Cornell, I really appreciate the opportunity.”

There is a lot to look forward to when it comes to college life according to Keene.

“I’m ready to keep playing the game I’ve been playing, build relationships, compete and have fun,” Keene concluded.

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