Fans should get used to seeing Daylen Lile and Korbyn Dickerson around the Louisville baseball scene for a while.
Despite their age, both Trinity High School (Louisville, Ky.) starting outfielders are already committed to the University of Louisville.
“I guess he just wanted to follow in my footsteps,” Lile said with a laugh. “But really, Korbyn’s a great player and that’s a great swap for them. I’m happy he committed as a youngster.”
Lile, a 6-foot, 190-pound sophomore, switched collegiate allegiances after committing to Indiana. Duke, Michigan, Cincinnati and Xavier were all in the mix before the Hoosiers and Cardinals.
“It was just coachingwise, and I didn’t want to go too far from home,” said Lile, a two-time Perfect Game Underclassmen Preseason All-American selection. “I wanted to stay a little closer to home so my parents could see me. And it’s a great school and a great program.”
Dickerson, a 6-foot-1, 170-pound freshman, picked U of L after drawing interest from several Division I programs.
“It’s always been a dream school,” said Dickerson, who joined Lile as a 2019 preseason All-American by Perfect Game. “It’s definitely closer to home (than other programs). It’s easier to stay closer to home and not make it tough on my family to come see me play and all that stuff.”
Dickerson committed in August just before school started. No other schools had offered yet, but he was in contact with Indiana, Purdue and Mississippi State. The commitment came in a FaceTime chat with Cards coach Dan McDonnell.
He didn’t really have to break the news to his parents.
“They were sitting right next to me, so,” Dickerson said with a laugh.
Dickerson said he can definitely see the pros and cons of deciding on a school so early.
“I think it puts more pressure on you, but at the same time, it doesn’t,” said Dickerson, who bats right and throws right. “People expect you to do good now, but then again, you’re still human and so you’re going to make errors.”
Both players admitted they were nervous heading into their varsity debuts as freshmen starters. Now with a year under his belt, Lile is far more at ease.
“The (older) players, they brought me in as a brother and they helped me with how to carry myself on the field. They helped me show the crowd and the people, ‘I’m not just a freshman. I’m more than that.’ They changed me as a person,” Lile said. “I look at myself as more of a leader now. My teammates look at me and expect me to set the tone.”
That’s setting the tone on a squad with eight other college-bound players outside of Lile and Dickerson. The Shamrocks have six signed seniors in Grant Brunstetter (Missouri-St. Louis), Jared Bryant (Missouri-St. Louis), Drake Kawa (Centre), Ricardo Martinez (IU-Kokomo), Grant Perry (Transylvania) and Brett Pfaadt (Bellarmine). Trinity also has two committed juniors in Braden Barry (West Virginia) and Ethan Hodge (Xavier).
“We’ve got five or six really good outfielders, so it’s really tough some days to get everybody their at-bats. I’ve got some guys I’m moving around to infield spots to accommodate that,” said Trinity coach Rick Arnold. “But it’s great having those guys (Dickerson and Lile). There’s so much for those guys to learn — baserunning, coming through on ground balls on do-or-die plays to the plate. There’s so much they still have to learn because they’re young, but those two guys as well as most of our guys are so hungry for knowledge and they really strive every day in practice to get better.”
Dickerson is hitting .353 with 12 hits in 34 at-bats and it’s doubtful opponents would like to see Lile more.
Lile’s .494 batting average leads third-ranked Trinity (25-5) and is in the top 25 in the state. Lile also leads Trinity in runs (31), RBIs (29), walks (22), doubles (12), hit by pitches (six) and triples (five). He struck out just four times through his first 83 at-bats.
“As good as they are, wait till next year. Come back next year at this time and see where they are as a sophomore and a junior,” Arnold said. “Because they work at it. They play on high-level summer programs and they come back to us in the fall and they’re hungry. They’re leaders, and it’s fun to coach them.”