Baseball: Traxel commits to University of Washington

South Kitsap junior left-hander Kellen Traxel committed to play baseball at the University of Washington. - File photo
South Kitsap junior left-hander Kellen Traxel committed to play baseball at the University of Washington.
— image credit: File photo

He called it his “dream school.”

And when University of Washington coach Lindsay Meggs extended an offer to South Kitsap left-handed pitcher Kellen Traxel last spring, he did not hesitate to accept.

Traxel, a junior, held no other scholarship offers, but he said there was no reason to wait. In addition to a desire to continue his baseball career, Traxel said he also was impressed with UW’s College of Engineering. Traxel, who maintains a 3.9 grade-point average, plans to major in that subject.

Along with academics, Traxel said he is impressed with the Huskies’ baseball program. They finished with a 17-37 record last year, but entered the week with a 6-3 mark in coach Lindsay Meggs’ third year.

“He’s finally got his own recruiting class,” said Traxel, adding that the Huskies’ coaching staff spotted him when he pitched last season for the Narrows Baseball Academy.

Traxel did not rule out the possibility that he would sign with a major-league team when he is eligible for the June 2013 amateur draft, but added that any contract would have to include college tuition in addition to other incentives.

“It would have to be pretty bold,” he said.

For now, the left-handed Traxel is focused on serving as the Wolves’ top starter. He had a 3-1 record with a 4.20 ERA last season.

Traxel, who abandoned hitting to focus on honing his pitching a few years ago, said he hoped to get more work done during the winter until he encountered elbow problems. The 6-foot-2 Traxel, whose velocity tops out at around 85 mph, said his issues with tendonitis have disappeared since he started physical therapy.

He noted that college baseball coaches have 12.7 scholarships and use much of them on pitchers and middle infielders. Traxel said that means he will need to display improvement to succeed at UW.

“I have to build up my velocity,” he said. “It’s a whole ’noter game once you get to the next level.”

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