Batavia senior Micah Coffey committed to the Minnesota baseball program Sunday, and felt even better about the Golden Gophers by Monday.
Minnesota is known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The day after his verbal commitment, it felt to the Bulldogs first baseman as if he had almost that many contacts popping out of the woodwork who endorsed his decision.
“Whether it be people from my church, people from Batavia – it was funny, even friends of friends who have said we’ve got people living up there, there’s a place you could go,” Coffey said. “It just seems like there are a lot of people that either have connections up there or know people. It’s just all really positive stuff.”
Coffey visited Minnesota last month, and after a few weeks of mulling, notified Gophers assistant coach Rob Fornasiere that he plans to accept the program’s partial athletic scholarship offer.
A three-sport Batavia standout who was the Chronicle’s 2012-13 Male Athlete of the Year, Coffey is a highly regarded quarterback for the Bulldogs’ football team.
“I think just as Division I interest starting coming in for baseball, I kind of realized I’d have a higher ceiling for baseball, with my size and skills,” Coffey said. “ ... Obviously football is something I’d love to do at the next level, but I just started to feel baseball is the way I really wanted to go.”
Coffey had 17 extra base hits for the Bulldogs as a junior and drove in 25 runs. He mostly has played first base at Batavia but said Minnesota recruited him “kind of as an athlete,” so he’ll be prepared to bounce around.
Coffey said he considered a wide range of schools – big and small – including Taylor University (Ind.), where two older brothers, Jordan and Jesse, have competed athletically.
Another Tri-Cities product, St. Charles North graduate Jake Bergren, is an outfielder in the Gophers’ program.
Coffey becomes the second Batavia senior baseball player to make a Big Ten selection. Bulldogs outfielder Laren Eustace is committed to Indiana.