By Callie White
OKLAHOMA CITY (June 6, 2013) – In mid-May, Dillon Andrews was leading the Oklahoma Christian baseball team to its first national tournament appearance since 1972. Now, Andrews has his sights set on another goal.
Andrews, who graduated from OC in April with a degree in business management, awaits the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, which will run from Thursday through Saturday. He, along with a handful of OC teammates, rode a successful 2013 campaign into this year’s draft with aspirations of moving on to play at the next level.
The draft will begin with two rounds on Thursday. Rounds three through 10 will be held Friday and rounds 11 through 40 are scheduled for Saturday.
“I expect nothing from the draft,” Andrews said. “If I don’t get drafted, that’s OK. If I want to keep playing baseball, I will find a way. If I do, I am going to do it the right way. I’m going to put my whole heart into it and take nothing for granted.”
Andrews put his abilities on display in his senior season for the Eagles, finishing the year batting .389 with 61 hits and a .548 slugging percentage – all team highs. Andrews was also named to the All-Heartland Conference first-team team and the National Christian College Athletic Association All-Central Region team. He also received the NCCAA regional co-hitter of the year honor.
Former OC baseball coach Chuck White drew Andrews to OC. The two knew each other during their respective time at Carl Albert High School and a mutual respect reunited them at Oklahoma Christian.
“A big part of my coming to OC was coach White,” Andrews said. “When he came and talked to me my senior year, I really wanted to play for him. He’s a guy that doesn’t show a lot of emotion, but I knew I could get it out of him if I played well and I wanted to do that.”
His older brother, Dustin, who transferred from Seminole State as a pitcher and outfielder, joined Andrews in his sophomore year at OC. The duo proved that two Andrews are better than one and the younger described their time together on Dobson Field as special.
“Playing with Dustin was awesome,” Dillon said. “I learned so much just from watching him do things on the field.”
Dillon’s junior season was a rough time for the whole team. Their 8-34 record led to a lot of changes for OC baseball, but Andrews focused on the perspective that he gained during that time of struggle.
“Every baseball season that I have ever played has included a number of games that afterward I did not care that much for,” Andrews said. “But after going through the hard times a year ago, it definitely makes me appreciate baseball a whole lot more.”
One of the changes following the 2012 season was a change at coach to former Edmond Santa Fe High School coach Lonny Cobble. A number of new faces, both on the field and in the coaching staff revived the Eagles and led to a 26-26 record and an appearance in the NCCAA World Series.
“I loved playing for coach Cobble because he approached the game the way it is supposed to be approached,” Andrews said. “He organized the team the way I would organize a team. He brought out the potential in me and in a lot of other players that we had this year.”
With his career at OC now finished, Andrews can look back on his time as an Eagle and evaluate. While most would consider the numbers he posted as phenomenal, Andrews described his mentality throughout his playing days at OC as “never satisfied.”
“I always approached each season with high expectations and even if I met those expectations, I would set the goal higher,” Andrews said. “I was never satisfied, but I definitely enjoyed every moment that I played.”
While Andrews’ play on the field certainly caught the attention of the fans, their eyes may occasionally drift to another of Andrews’ gifts – his 1-year-old son, Beau.
On Dec. 13, 2012, Beau Jaxton Andrews came into the world and put the game into perspective for the new father. The youngest Eagle fan instantly stole the show, and in many ways, made the game sweeter for Andrews.
“After I had Beau, he became my brighter star in the sky,” Andrews said. “He definitely made me play harder and made me more mature in knowing the game and paying attention to the details. Beau makes it a lot easier to handle failure in baseball and you have to be a father for that to make any sense.”
Andrews is taking advantage of his time before the draft, spending time with family and friends. He will be waiting to see his name on the draft boards and those who have witnessed Andrews patrolling center field at Dobson Field will be doing the same.