|Donathan signs with King University|
|Written by Gary Gregory|
|Wednesday, 04 December 2013 00:00|
One baseball position -- catcher -- has been the signature position for BJ Donathan since he was in the sixth grade.
Six years of hard work as a catcher in the Tippecanoe program has paid huge dividends for the son of Brad and Libby Donathan, longtime Tipp City residents.
He signed a letter of intent Monday to attend and play baseball for King University in Bristol, Tenn.
Matt Shomper, the Red Devil athletic director, characterized Donathan as an "excellent student" and a "leader in the (Tippecanoe) building."
Donathan has lofty goals at King and also down the road.
"I will be studying premed," said Donathan, who hopes to specialize in neuro-surgery.
A two-year varsity starter at Tippecanoe, Donathan has earned his spurs as a top-notch high school catcher. Priding himself on his defense, he has refined his catching skills -- receiving the pitches, blocking the plate and throwing with accuracy.
"He does a great job of blocking the plate," said Red Devil coach Bruce Cahill, now in his 31st year at the helm. "He's a wall back there."
Offensively, he has taken it up another level. He batted .345 during the high school season and .400 with the Raptors summer team.
"He hits the ball hard and with power, usually in the fifth spot in the order," Cahill added. "He's had some big hits for us and has driven in some key runs."
Ted Mills is the legendary coach of AA Dayton amateur teams at Howell Field as well as a highly regarded baseball instructor. He weighed in on the hitting progress of the Tippecanoe senior. "BJ has a lot more confidence at the plate and has a good eye," Mills said. "He's been with me since he was nine years old so he's worked hard."
As a Red Devil sophomore, he came up clutch in the bottom of the seventh inning in the Division II district final against Monroe. With two outs and trailing by two runs in the game at Mason, he worked the count full, eventually walking to load the bases.
Teammate Steve Calhoun followed with a single for a dramatic comeback win.
"I could tell the “full-count" pitch was wide, so I took it," Donathan said.
Donathan and his other senior teammates -- Brad Bruns, Ben Hughes and Cameron Johnson -- look forward to another deep run the playoffs.
The Tippecanoe 2014 baseball campaign includes a five-day, four game swing through Florida.
The regular high school season starts in late March.