Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

January 20, 2014

Windsor's Allen remaining a Blue Devil

W/SS standout commits to Kaskaskia

Alex McNamee
Effingham Daily News

WINDSOR — Kaskaskia College baseball got the guy they wanted when Windsor/Stew-Stras star Alex Allen committed to the program on Friday.

Allen said signing the letter of intent was a weight off of his shoulders, but signified something he has always aspired to do during his career.

“It's a dream come true,” Allen said.

Kaskaskia reached Allen early in the recruiting process because they knew he was a player they wanted, head coach Mitch Koester said.

Allen is going to a program with a lot of recent success. Kaskaskia finished its season in the National Junior College Athletic Association JUCO World Series.

The team finished the season ranked ninth in the country and enter this year as the 10th-ranked team in the preseason polls. That sold itself to the Windsor senior.

“Good program, good facilities and good coaches,” Allen said.

Allen visited the school's campus early on, after initial contact was made during the fall of his junior year. He said he “fell in love” with everything about it.

Koester said he thinks last season's success helped in the recruiting process. Allen said he followed their team throughout last season.

“We've been able to get quality kids from this area in the past and hopefully can continue that in the future,” Koester said.

The future is bright for Allen, Koester said. As he grows and matures, Koester said Allen could turn into a Division I prospect in two years.

“Offensively, he's a kid that, as he grows and matures, he's a middle of the order type of guy,” Koester said. “He's advanced behind the plate. He moves well for a kid at third base.”

Kaskaskia's roster is filled with a large class of sophomores this season, so Koester said Allen and the rest of next fall's incoming freshmen will have a chance to fill those roles.

The team has two sophomore catchers on the roster, both in their last season, and the infield is filled with sophomores, too.

“We're signing him early because we liked him and he's going to get the first crack at it,” Koester said.

Allen was named to the National Trail All-Conference team this fall, as Windsor/Stew-Stras (5-2) placed third in the NTC Tournament.

Last season, he hit better than .400 with two home runs.

Windsor/Stew-Stras head coach and Windsor Athletic Director Mike Taylor said he's excited to have a chance to coach Allen in the spring, after taking over the program this fall.

Even with limited exposure to what Allen is capable of, Taylor said he knows what Allen can bring to a college baseball team.

“Work ethic, great hands, good athlete, good base runner, good hitter — I could see him being a pretty solid player for them,” Taylor said.

Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or alex.mcnamee@effinghamdailynews.com.