July 24, 2016

Mostly cloudy

Brunswick’s Brian Lees picks Cincinnati U

BRUNSWICK — Medina County’s already long list of college baseball recruits just got longer.

The prestige factor increased drastically, too.

Brian Lees

Brunswick senior Brian Lees committed to be a preferred walk-on at the University of Cincinnati earlier this week, joining Kyle Michalik (Ohio State), Tyler Greiner (Bowling Green State) and Anthony Bova (Akron) as D-I recruits for the Blue Devils over the last calendar year.

“I am very excited to continue my baseball career at a Division I college and have the chance to succeed,” he said. “This has always been a dream of mine — to play at a D-I school. I know it’s going to be a challenge, but I’m ready for it and will continue to work hard.”

Lees, who will major in criminal justice, selected the Big East school after receiving interest from Illinois and Miami of Ohio. The Bearcats came into the fold after watching Lees compete at a showcase for the Midwest Pelicans summer team, whose director is Brunswick coach Todd Winston.

The well-built Lees was recruited as a catcher — Winston said Major League scouts have contacted him regarding Lees’ abilities — though the quick-handed defender can also play first or third base.

Toss in the chance to compete for playing time as a freshman and Lees was sold.

“I will play whatever position that will benefit the success of the team,” he said.

The first-team All-Northeast Ohio Conference River Division selection hit .337 with 11 doubles and 25 RBIs last season. He also committed just four errors in 106 chances while manning third for the NOC River Division co-champions.

Cincinnati entered Friday’s action 9-14 overall and 1-4 in the Big East. Its alumni includes Baseball Hall of Fame members Sandy Koufax and Miller Huggins, along with current three-time all-star Kevin Youkilis.

Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or agrindle@medina-gazette.com.

Nick Glunt About Nick Glunt

Nick Glunt primarily covers courts and crime in Medina County. He served The Gazette from September 2012 to December 2015. Contact him at (330) 721-4048 or via email at nglunt@medina-gazette.com.