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College Baseball Countdown: 95 Days to Go - Kyle Nowlin

We’re 95 days away from the start of the college baseball season, and that means that we’re coming at you with another on our list of reasons to look forward to the 2016 season.

One of the great things about taking a step back and looking at the entire college baseball landscape is you find stories of outstanding players doing outstanding things that might have been overlooked in the grand scheme of things.

One such player is Kyle Nowlin, the resident bopper in the middle of the Eastern Kentucky order.

In 2013 and 2014 Nowlin, a Harrison, Ohio, native, was a quality hitter for the Colonels. He hit .295 with a .410 on-base percentage as a freshman and followed that up with a .307 average, .410 on-base percentage, 14 doubles, and 6 home runs as a sophomore. He also tacked on 17 and 15 stolen bases, respectively, in those two seasons.

In 2015, his junior season, though, Nowlin really became a superstar, hitting .326/.438/.690 with 19 home runs, 45 RBI, and 18 stolen bases. At the end of the season, he was named First-Team All-Ohio Valley Conference. To top things off, when the MLB Draft rolled around, he was selected in the 30th round by the Philadelphia Phillies. Instead of beginning his career in pro baseball, though, he elected to return to campus.

His return will be a huge boon to the 2016 Colonels, which will be led by a brand new head coach, Edwin Thompson. Thompson comes to EKU with serious bonafides. For the last three seasons, he has served as an assistant at Georgia State, while also working in a developmental role with USA Baseball’s 18U and 17U teams. Prior to that, he spent a couple of years on staff at Duke, where he served as recruiting coordinator, and at one point, interim head coach.

Working to find talented players and then developing that talent is of the utmost importance at a place like EKU that isn’t going to lure blue-chip recruits, at least not right away, and Thompson has the type of pedigree that suggests he can get that done.

For his first season on the job, though, he will have at his disposal at least one player who has already developed into a superstar in Kyle Nowlin.

Joe Healy was first introduced to college baseball when he grew up watching the likes of Jeff Niemann, Philip Humber, and Wade Townsend pitch for Rice University. To say it was love at first sight would be an understatement. That love only grew as he went off to college at Sam Houston State University, where he practically lived at Don Sanders Stadium watching his Bearkats under the direction of the legendary Mark Johnson. He holds a B.A. in political science from SHSU and is working toward his Masters in Public Administration from SIU-Edwardsville in Edwardsville, Illinois.