Prep Baseball Report

Keffaber Thrilled To Represent The Winning Culture At Kent State

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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Keffaber Thrilled To Represent The Winning Culture At Kent State

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Grant Keffaber RHP / 3B / Lebanon , OH / 2025

LEBANON - The dream has become a reality for Grant Keffaber. The junior at Lebanon High School is a Kent State commit.

“What a great feeling,” Keffaber said about becoming a member of the Mid-American Conference program that has won 11 regular-season league titles since 2000 and made 10 NCAA Tournament appearances in that time frame. “I wouldn’t say the recruiting process was stressful for me, I was able to take it slow, but when it was over it was like wow … I’m at Kent State as a baseball commit. That’s always been my dream. I love the idea of being a D-I commit.”

It was just a short time back when the seventh-rated 2025 right-handed pitcher in the state became serious about making it to the next level.

“I’ve wanted to play college baseball since I was a little kid, but when I turned 15 it’s like, ‘this is going to be a reality for me,’” Keffaber explained. “That’s when I developed a different mentality. Then at 16, my sophomore year, I was throwing harder.”

Improved velo was a big part of getting recognized.

“Last year at this time I was 84-85, and by February I got to 90,” the 6-0 175-pounder related about his strides made on the mound. “I’ve also been working on a four-pitch mix. I have a change that moves like a true splitter, a fastball, a 12-6 curve and one of my new pitches is a slider.”

Kent State is among the schools that were impressed with what the 17th-ranked junior in Ohio showed.

“It started in the middle of the summer,” Keffaber reflected. “Obviously they liked what they saw and continued to watch me. They were one of the first schools that contacted me on Aug. 1 and also my first visit on Sept. 1.

“I loved everything about it. It felt like home. I loved being around the coaches and it was cool walking up to the field. Plus, they have mechatronics at Kent which is my plan for a major.”

There were also visits to Ohio University and Penn State for Keffaber, but it was the university in eastern Ohio, 31/2 hours from home, that stood out the most.

“I like the social aspects,” Keffaber reasoned about why he chose Kent State. “But the big thing is the baseball program wins, that’s what I really liked.”

Kent State was enamored with a number of things about Keffaber.

“They like the fact that I can throw a four-pitch mix with a split/change which is weird to see,” Keffaber said. “They also like the way I compete on the mound. That’s a big part of it for them.”

PBR played a large role for the 17-year-old throughout the recruiting process.

“I did a lot of PBRs,” Keffaber noted. “The Top Prospect Games got me started, and I went to a couple more camps and the Southern Ohio Prospect Games. Then the Future Games boosted me a lot seeing that many college coaches. That got me on the radar of so many.”

There were three individuals Keffaber credited with also helping out.

“With recruitment, Lance Green put me in the right position with the right coach,” Keffaber explained. “My pitching coaches, Billy Kitchen and Bryce McMurray, helped me to throw harder and also with developing the way I throw, making my mechanics repeatable to throw for 100 pitches.”

Keffaber, who carries a 4.03 GPA at Lebanon, looks ahead with anticipation to his days at Kent.

“I’ll bring them a starter mentality,” Keffaber said. “They have always had amazing starters. (Pitching) Coach (Mike) Birkbeck has produced some amazing pitchers and I can’t wait to get there and develop.”

There is more Keffaber is excited about when it comes to going to college at Kent State and being a part of the defending league champion program.

“I’m looking forward to the mentality of having Kent on your chest and playing to represent that and the winning culture that’s been there,” Keffaber concluded.

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