Deerfield third baseman and one of the Knights’ top pitchers, Coleman Butler, front row, center, is all smiles Tuesday after signing a baseball scholarship with Gordon College as he’s surrounded by friends and family. Butler has helped lead the Knights to the GISA Class AAA Elite 8, where Deerfield will face Westfield on Saturday in Perry. (Timothy Threadcraft/Special to The Herald)
ALBANY — Former U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson once said, “Always remember that the future comes one day at a time.”
For Deerfield-Windsor pitcher Coleman Butler, this rings all too true.
One of the Knights’ top hurlers signed with Gordon College on Tuesday in Deerfield’s media center, and it was there that even he admitted he didn’t start thinking about playing college baseball until just recently.
“The recruiting process started, literally, about three weeks ago,” Butler said. “About two months ago, I had no plans on playing college baseball. Seeing my friends come through here and sign their national letters-of-intent kind of motivated me to see what’s out there.”
Butler has pitched 24 innings for the Knights this season with 37 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.40. At the plate, he’s hitting .288 with three home runs.
Deerfield coach Rod Murray says Butler excels as much off the field as he does on it.
“He’s a great kid, and we’re looking forward to hearing good things about him,” Murray said. “They got a good one in Coleman.”
Gordon seems to like Deerfield players.
Former Knights star Grant Massey currently play for the Highlander, as does Deerfield’s Lindsey Short.
“Lindsey and Grant both said Gordon was a great program, and that they like the coaches,” Butler said. “(Gordon head coach Travis McClanahan) was probably the main reason that I chose Gordon. He had a lot of nice things to say about me. If you go to a college and you don’t like the coach, you’re not going to like the school.”
Murray thinks Butler can add to Gordon’s pitching staff right away.
“He’s a real power guy,” Murray said. “He’s got a great breaking pitch; his velocity is up there. He’s got a lot of potential. He’s signed as a pitcher, but he’s our everyday third baseman here.”
Butler made no secret of the fact he feels most comfortable as a pitcher.
“Every time I get on the mound, I feel relaxed. I just try to focus so I can go out and do the best I can every pitch,” he said.
Butler plans to enroll at Gordon sometime in August, but until then, he and the Knights have some unfinished business to take care of. After knocking off Dominion Christian last week in the first round of the GISA Class AAA playoffs, Deerfield will travel to Perry to face Westfield School on Saturday in a best-of-three series in the Elite 8
“The most important thing is I have to focus on these next few weeks,” said Butler, who is undecided on his major but knows he wants to take a shot at playing pro ball one day. “After the playoffs, I’ll probably rest for about a month and then get back on it.”