Alex Lyon, who was a three-year starter at White House High School had 73 runs batted in (RBIs), 24 doubles and 126 hits. Lyon also hit for over .400 in two out of the three years he started and was named to the All-District team all three years.
Lyon went on to play at Volunteer State Community College where he started for two years and saw his numbers really improve from year one to year two. In November 2016 Lyon signed with the Southern Illinois University Salukis to play multiple infield positions.
Following his signing with the Salukis, head coach of the Vol State baseball team Ryan Hunt had this to say about his former player.
" Alex is a tremendous young man. He is so deserving of this. SIU is getting not only a great player but an excellent person and good student. I am so proud of Alex."
After graduating from Vol State in the spring, Alex enrolled at SIU in August and while adjusting to the speed of Division I baseball has not been easy, he is expected to get playing time this year at several positions.
"I've been working at shortstop, second base, third base and left field. My coach wants me to be familiar with all of these positions because I have the potential to play any of them. The transition from JUCO (junior college) to Division I was long but good. The speed of the game is so much faster but as we went throughout fall practices it became slower, which made it easier and more comfortable to play in. The attention to detail in practice is at a different level than it was in JUCO. There was a lot of time to do your own preparing (weight room) and practicing (extra ground balls or hitting). There were expectations at both levels but a whole lot more at the Division 1 level," said Lyon.
Playing at Vol State and going the JUCO route proved to go a long way for Lyon to receive a scholarship from SIU.
"I am so glad I made the decision to go to JUCO mainly because that was really my only choice out of high school. I could have tried to walk on at a four-year university, but I wanted to play right away. I had a couple Division III offers but Vol State was my choice and probably the best decision I have ever made. I developed tremendously over my three years spent at Vol State," said Lyon.
Lyon got off to a rough start in his freshmen year at Vol State but saw his numbers improve in his sophomore year where he hit .365 with 45 RBIs.
"What changed for me my freshmen year to my sophomore year was my focus in preparing for the spring season. My first year, I was just doing whatever just to get by but not putting in the extra work that I needed. My mind changed my second year and I needed to do something different, like going harder in the weight room and getting extra hitting and defensive work in. I think my approach at the plate was a whole lot different. I was a lot more aggressive while hitting my second year and that's why my numbers jumped up. I was just locked in and that all started in the fall," said Lyon.
Although he took playing at Vol State seriously, Lyon has one memory that still makes him laugh.
"Probably one of the funniest things I remember while playing at Vol State is when Baylor Steelman hit his first home run against Walter State on the road. When he got back into the dugout he was freaking out saying he didn't know what to do after the ball went off the wall. He sprinted around the bases and we all thought it was funny but a happy moment for us too," said Lyon.
Off the field, Lyon is an average college student who loves to spend time with family, play basketball and eat food.
"I like to hang out with friends and family, go play some hoops, spend time with my girlfriend (Baylee) and eat some delicious food. I am a big family guy so living so close to Vol State really helped me during my time spent there," said Lyon.
Lyon takes us in to what a day playing baseball and going to school full-time at SIU looks like for him.
"My days at SIU are basically the same every day. We have 7 am workouts, go to class until around noon, eat lunch then go to practice from around two-five. After that I come home for dinner then head to study tables for an hour or two then come back and go to sleep and repeat it all the next day," said Lyon.
Written By: Nathan Kaly