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The past week has been like a dream for recent Lafayette graduate Matt Keane.
Not only did Keane get to hoist the Virginia High School League Group 3A state championship trophy after the Rams baseball team won their first state title in program history, but he also committed to play baseball at his dream school, College of William & Mary.
Keane’s commitment to William & Mary came as a surprise to some, as Keane had already verbally committed to play baseball at The Citadel.
His recruitment began to change when William & Mary coaches approached Keane’s coach at Lafayette, Rick Schenk, about extending Keane a walk-on roster spot about a month ago.
A day after speaking with Schenk about extending an offer, William & Mary coach Brian Murphy met with Keane before Lafayette’s game against Jamestown that was played at William & Mary’s Plumeri Park and expressed the program’s interest in him as a player.
“Once William & Mary talked to me, with that being my number one school originally, I jumped at the offer,” he said.
Keane’s commitment to William & Mary likely had to do with junior Tribe catcher Ryan Hissey being selected in the 14th round of the MLB Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays.
With Hissey’s future at William & Mary up in the air as he debates whether to stay in college or turn pro, Keane believes William & Mary was looking to add a backup option in case Hissey departed to pursue professional baseball.
Keane, who held a .220 batting average with nine RBIs, had built a good relationship with Murphy over the years after attending multiple baseball camps at William & Mary. This relationship, Keane said, also likely played a part in his commitment.
Whatever the reason for the offer, Keane is not sweating the details. Not knowing whether he will stick at catcher or move to another position is not important to Keane. His focus is on getting the opportunity to play baseball close to his friends and family in Williamsburg at a school he has wanted to attend since he was 5 years old.
“I really wanted to be able to play in front of my family,” he said. “I feel like I’d be a little more comfortable knowing they’d be at the games and I’d be able to see them on the weekends.”
Committing to William & Mary set the state for Keane’s next great accomplishment: helping Lafayette earn a state championship in baseball for the first time.
“You don’t imagine coming into a season and winning a state championship and playing with some of the best teammates you could ever imagine, and then the next year playing at your dream school,” Keane said. “It seems a little unreal. It seems like a dream to me. I’m just living in the moment right now. I just feel blessed and grateful that all this has happened.”