Brayden Kelly has gained great personal improvement from his time at Raceland, he said. He hopes the same is true for his next stop.

The Rams senior signed a letter of intent last week to continue his baseball career at Campbellsville University next spring.

“It was something I’ve always really dreamed about, being a kid,” Kelly said, “is moving up to the next level and just having fun while doing it.”

Kelly came to Raceland before his sophomore season via transfer from Ashland. He’s mixed in at catcher ever since.

“It’s been great having a bond with these guys,” Kelly said, “and they’ve welcomed me in, just being almost like a second family.”

Kelly batted .350 last season, drove in 18 runs, hit five doubles and walked 25 times.

“Brayden has been a program guy ever since he enrolled at Raceland,” Rams coach Marty Mills said. “He has developed into a solid catcher that understands the importance of receiving and handling a pitching staff. Brayden could have played other positions, but gives us the flexibility at the catcher’s position to be successful as a team.”

Kelly’s best quality as a catcher is communicating with the Raceland pitchers and defense, he said. That has gone hand-in-hand with his other stated area of expertise.

“It was probably just being a better teammate and learning from all the teammates I have now, and my coaches,” Kelly said. “If it weren’t for Marty, I wouldn’t be as decent of a player as I am now, because he’s developed me so much.”

Raceland posted its winningest season in school history last year, winning 30 games, and reached the All “A” Classic state semifinals for the second straight season and won the 63rd District Tournament for the first time in 17 years.

The Rams want to play deeper this season, though, than a 16th Region Tournament quarterfinal exit.

“It’s a lot of pressure. We have really high expectations,” Kelly said. “We just hope we can get farther than we did last year, too.”

Kelly plans to study criminal justice at Campbellsville, he said.

“When I first went and visited, it just felt like home,” he said. “They were so welcoming.”

(606) 326-2658 |

zklemme@dailyindependent.com

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