MORRIS – The scholarship offer Morris senior Trevor Lines recently accepted at Creighton University is academic, but it comes with an assurance that his athletic career will continue.
Lines, a four-year baseball player and golfer for the Redskins, has been promised a spot on Creighton’s 35-man baseball roster. His father, Greg, also played college baseball at Central Arkansas.
On Wednesday, Lines endured a hitless day for Morris as its No. 3 hitter and shortstop, but the Redskins defeated Ottawa, 6-4, to get above .500 for the first time this season. Before the game, Lines spoke to the Morris Daily Herald.
Johnson: You recently committed to Creighton. Why?
Lines: I just felt really comfortable with the coaching staff. Coach (Spencer) Allen is the main coach that I talked to.
He’s the assistant head coach. They really emphasize defense in their program and small ball, which are two things that I feel are big strengths of mine and play up to my strengths, so I felt like it was a really good match.
Johnson: Where else did you look, and what swung the decision their way?
Lines: I was looking at Richmond in Virginia, Valparaiso – those were the two [D-1] schools I was looking at – and then at the D-III level, I was looking at Washington University, Augustana, a little bit at Illinois Wesleyan and then at Coe College and Case Western, so those were the kind of top options that I had, and what swung my decision toward Creighton was just the opportunity to play at the Division I level and feel comfortable with the situation I was coming into and being able to contribute to a great program.
Johnson: You said they’ve guaranteed you a spot. Has there been any indication in what way they’ll use you, how much opportunity will be there for playing time?
Lines: Yeah. Early in my career, I’m just gonna go in with the mentality to try and get on the field whatever way possible, and hopefully as I grow later into my career there, I’ll be able to find a spot somewhere in the middle infield and just try and contribute to a winning program.
Johnson: Does this in any way change the amount of pressure you’re feeling as a baseball player here in your senior season?
Lines: Not too much. I just went into my senior year with the mentality to have fun with it and just try and make the team as good as we could possibly be, because we have some high goals this year that we’re looking to achieve.
We feel like we put ourselves in a position through the offseason stuff that we’ve done and through the stuff that we’ve done in the past four years to be able to go out and put ourselves in a good position to win (the Northern Illinois Big 12 East) Conference and make a deep run into postseason.
Johnson: What’s the one goal you have for the rest of your season, for yourself personally?
Lines: Just to be a great leader to these younger guys and to lead by example and show them what it takes to be a successful varsity player, and hopefully to leave a lasting imprint on the Morris baseball program.
Johnson: The results haven’t been horrible by any means for you guys, but they’ve been a little bit up and down. Do you feel that’s a product of the weather, everything that goes with that, or were there any real problems exposed that maybe you’ve ironed out?
Lines: We definitely haven’t played our best baseball up to this point. Our bats haven’t been clicking as much as we would’ve hoped, but we definitely know that we can perform better at the plate. That’s been our main problem, I think, is hitting-wise putting runs on the board and helping our pitchers out, who have done a good job.
I just think that we know that we can do better, and we’re starting to turn it around and figure things out at the right time.
Johnson: We’ve also followed you as a golfer at Morris. Did you ever consider doing that in college?
Lines: Not really. I really did golf as more of a hobby.
Baseball’s always been my No. 1 sport that I’ve focused on the majority of my time.
Golf is something that I do for fun and something that I love to do in my spare time, but I’ve never really taken it as seriously as I have baseball.
Johnson: OK, with that said, I would say at one point you had earlier varsity success in golf than you did in baseball, certainly. Was there a point when maybe your baseball game caught up to and even surpassed your golf game?
Lines: I think, really, it was just two different situations where, in the baseball program, we had a great shortstop in Kenny Milosovic that was a two-year varsity starter that kind of held me back from contributing to the varsity team.
In the golf situation, it was more of a, they needed quality players to come up and help them out in whatever age level they could.
So I think that was more of the reason that I contributed to the varsity golf team before I did baseball.