Blackmon to further baseball career at Southern Union

Published 10:27 pm Thursday, June 6, 2013

Just a few days after graduation, Tripp Blackmon was back in the gym and working out.

Blackmon, a star on the mound and in the outfield for the Charles Henderson Trojans over the past several seasons, recently made a decision to continue his baseball career at Southern Union State Community College in Opelika.

The decision came as a surprise to some, as Blackmon turned down a scholarship offer from Jefferson Davis Community College, located in Brewton, to walk on for the Bison.

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Blackmon said that the decision was tough, but he feels that the right choice was made.

“I visited at Southern Union and really, really liked it,” Blackmon said. “I also really liked the campus at Jeff Davis and their facilities. But in the end, I really felt like Southern was wear I needed to be.”

As the season wore on, and the Trojans piled up wins, Blackmon’s phone never rang with a call from a college coach. That all changed soon after Charles Henderson’s 7-2 victory over Brooks in the title game.

“The season went on and I never got a call, so I was ready to go to Alabama,” Blackmon said. “But the day after the title game, I went and visited Jeff Davis. Then I started going to places and doing workouts for schools. I had to make the call and cancel my dorm space at Alabama, because I know I could play baseball.”

Blackmon’s announcement marks the third member of the Charles Henderson Class of 2013 to play baseball at the college level. Fellow pitcher Houston Mabray is headed to Lurleen B. Wallace Community College in Andalusia, and first basemen Joey Dension will join Blackmon at Southern Union.

The transition from high school to college is always a difficult one, but Blackmon is excited to be able to do it with Denison, one of his best friends.

“It will be easier, especially pitching, because he is there,” said Blackmon. “I know that if I get a groundball to first, then that will be an easy out.

Blackmon notched a perfect 9-0 record on the mound for the Trojans during his senior season, including eight quality starts and seven complete games. During the season, Blackmon allowed just 16 earned runs.

At the plate, Blackmon had on base percentage of near .400 and led the team in walks and hit-by-pitches. He finished the season with 27 RBIs and 35 hits, including eight for extra bases.

Blackmon also recorded 45 put outs in the field, and patrolled right field when he wasn’t pitching.

Blackmon feels that his versatility in the field will help him make an impact at the junior college level.

“I don’t know what they want me to do, whether it is to play both ways or pitch,” said Blackmon. “But I know that I want to give myself the chance to play wherever they want me to. I know I can help in either place.”

With his high school career over, Blackmon is ready for the next stage of his life. Up until a few weeks ago, he was set to enroll at the University of Alabama. Though his baseball career will continue for at least a few more years, he is excited about college in general.

“I still want to go to Alabama in a couple of years, whether that be to play baseball or just as a student,” Blackmon said. “I’m just excited to see what the future has in store.”