Inside the Recruitment: '19 1B JP Sponseller commits to Elon

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JP Sponseller, 1B, Mason HS, Class of 2019

PBR: Why did you choose Elon?

Sponseller: As soon as I left the school, I knew that Elon is where I was destined to go. It is a great school academically, and it has a beautiful campus with an awesome baseball field. Also, I have always dreamed of the opportunity to play baseball in the south. Most importantly, I felt very comfortable with the coaches, as if I had been playing for them already. After much prayer, I knew the man upstairs was telling me that Elon was the place for me.

PBR: What other schools were you considering?

Sponseller: I was considering Purdue, Youngstown State, and West Virginia.

PBR: You are only a sophomore, how important was it for you to commit early and are you finished with the recruiting process?

Sponseller: I believe it was very important to commit early, assuming I found the right fit. This allows me to forget recruiting and focus on improving to be the best player I can be, and prepare for college baseball. It also allows me to focus on helping my teammates bring a state championship to Mason. My recruiting process is over and I have no interest in any other schools.

PBR: How much did playing down south play a part in your decision?

Sponseller: It definitely played a role in my decision, but not the biggest role. Don't get me wrong, I can't wait to play baseball in the beautiful state of North Carolina, but the biggest impact on me, was the honesty of the coaches, and how the players loved to play for Coach Kennedy. Elon being a southern school is a great perk and it will allow me to get outside a lot and get as many game like reps as possible. 

PBR: How does it feel to be a part of a Division1 baseball program?

Sponseller: It feels great to be apart of a Division 1 baseball program, but more importantly, the Elon Baseball family. I was immediately welcomed with open arms by the coaches, current players, and fellow commits. It has been a dream of mine since I was very little to play Division 1 baseball. This does not mean I'm satisfied. To me, this is where the work starts. I've achieved one dream, and now it's time to chase the next, which is to be selected in the MLB Draft.

PBR: Who do you play for in the summer and what was the most memorable experience from this summer?

Sponseller: I play for Cincinnati Baseball Club with Coach Cary Daniel. My most memorable moment was playing my final games with Coach Billy Highfill. I have known Coach Highfill for a long time and have many great memories playing for him.  None of this would be possible without both of those coaches.

PBR:  What person has the greatest impact on your baseball career and why?

Sponseller: My older brother Lee has had the greatest impact on my baseball career. He has taught me how to hit ever since I was little. More importantly, he showed me how to work. He showed me how to continuously work as hard as I can through ups and downs. He has gone through a lot and never stopped working at his dream. He also showed me how to properly keep pushing through adversity, and be humble when things are going great. All of this has definitely had a positive effect on me. I love my brother and I will never be able to thank him enough for what he has done for me.

PBR: What were your stats last spring season?

Sponseller: I was on the Mason JV team last year as a freshman. Throughout the season I recorded a batting average of .365, and on base percentage of .507, and a slugging percentage of .442.