Have you ever wondered what it would be like to verbally commit to a division 1 school in 8th grade? Yeah, me neither, because I never thought it was possible until I met one junior at Gilmour Academy, Ben DeMell. Ben verbally committed to Penn State University for baseball before he played in his first high school game. Now as a junior in the Upper School, he is a role model for the 2019 Division II State-Runner up baseball team, the Gilmour Academy Lancers.
When asked about his decision with Penn State, he mentioned how, “Penn State was probably [his] favorite because of the coaches and the whole atmosphere was just unbelievable.” He also touched on the topic how by committing before high school it “changed nothing for [him]self. [He] still kept his same work ethic and still wanted to be the best [he] could be.”
Ben was named the 2019 News Herald player of the year as a sophomore, which is the highest honor somebody can receive given out by the local newspaper. He led the team in batting average (.468), RBI (40), triples (8), runs scored (45), pitching wins (11), ERA (0.28) and strikeouts (105). Three of these records, triples, pitching wins, and ERA, were new single-season program records for the school.
As a member of the baseball team myself, I look up to Ben and his accomplishments on the baseball diamond. I see him as a true captain and am willing to take in any advice he has to offer me, and I know the team feels the same way. Something that stands out about Ben is his humbleness involving the sport. He could easily go around boasting about himself, but instead he prefers to take a modest approach and let others do the talking.
Ben is a pitcher, shortstop, and third baseman for the Academy, and he mentions how it can’t stay that way in college. Pitching and playing infield is too much throwing for the arm, but Ben still mentions how “it is one of [his] top goals” to be able to pitch and somehow hit for his team in the future. Therefore, he will either have to learn to play outfield or just be able to hit as a pitcher.
Overall, Ben DeMell is a tremendous athlete who loves the sport of baseball and has been playing it basically his entire life. Hopefully, Ben can lead the Gilmour Academy baseball team to another state finals appearance this year. Penn State will be lucky to have him in two years.