July 31, 2008
By David Driver
For the Stafford County Sun
Used with permission
Jason Kittell saw a Class AAA minor league baseball game as a youngster at The Diamond in Richmond.
This past spring he was there again to see Virginia Commonwealth University host North Carolina-Wilmington in a Colonial Athletic Association game.
And if all goes well, this 2008 graduate of Colonial Forge High School may one day play at The Diamond.
Kittell, who helped Colonial Forge reach the state title game this past spring, is headed to VCU as a recruited walk-on for the Rams in the Division I CAA.
“I am so excited for that,” Kittell said of playing at The Diamond, the home field of VCU. “It is like a major league field. “It is so beautiful.”
Kittell, who also played prep basketball, had a grade-point average of 3.1 at Colonial Forge and plans to study business and computers at VCU.
A middle infielder, he is one of several recent graduates from Colonial Forge who plan to play college baseball.
The others include Levi Hyams (Georgia), Shayne Paskanik (Louisburg in North Carolina) and Sam Astley, who may play on the club team at James Madison University.
Hyams hit .408 with eight homers this past spring for Colonial Forge, Kittell hit .432 and pitcher/outfielder Paskanik hit .421.
Georgia, a member of the powerful Southeastern Conference, advanced to the championship game of the College World Series in June before losing to Fresno State.
“It was awesome. I knew they were going to be good,” said Hyams, also an infielder. “The fact they got all the way to the finals was amazing. I watched that religiously.”
Hyams said Georgia has always been his first choice for college. Both of his parents grew up in Georgia and his mother played college basketball for the Bulldogs.
“I have grown up a Bulldogs and (Atlanta) Braves fan,” Hyams said.
His grandparents live in Georgia and he has spent this summer working there to make some money for college. He also played in a baseball tournament in
Georgia when a U-18 select team from Maryland asked him to play shortstop.
Gordon Beckham, who played shortstop this past season for Georgia, was drafted in the first round in June by the Chicago White Sox as the eighth pick overall.
VCU, normally one of the top teams in the CAA, slumped to an overall record of 15-30 last season under head coach Paul Keyes. The Rams have sent several players to pro ball, including Brandon Inge of the Detroit Tigers.