Before the school year started, there was word of a late signing- a C/IF junior college transfer. When senior Russell Crippen found out, he didn’t know what to expect.
“Coach Bonneau was excited, but I had never met him,” Crippen said. “Nobody had. It was a really late signing, he was supposed to go to Houston but it didn’t pan out. So we got him.”
But all doubt was shattered in the mind of the players, coaches and fans when Luis Trevino showed up to practice and shocked everyone with his talent.
“He was incredible,” Crippen said. “By the end of the first practice, I was thinking, ‘Alright, this kid can really play.’ I was excited to see him in action.”
It showed in the beginning of the season when Luis got a hitting streak going in Michigan State’s sweep of ACU. However, nobody expected the streak to last 13 games and Trevino said it could have lasted longer.
“I was at 13 games and was 0-3 at the plate, then walked and was hit by a pitch. They wouldn’t pitch to me. But we won that game so I wasn’t upset,” Trevino said.
Baseball has been Trevino’s passion since he was a child in Mexico. Born in America, he moved to Reynosa, Mexico, about 20 minutes from the Mexican-American border. There, he started playing baseball at the young age of three, and played in Mexico until he was 15. In fact, he was selected to represent Mexico in the Little League World Series in 2009, where they won third place in the international bracket.
Shortly before his 16th birthday his family moved back to America to the town of McAllen. There, Luis graduated from Sharyland High School in 3 years, despite knowing absolutely no English. His ability to play was apparent in high school, as he hit .389 as a sophomore, .448 as a junior and .382 as a senior. Although he was sought after by universities, as a top-200 prospect in Texas, he decided to go to Navarro College, a junior college in Corsicana. It was there that Trevino said he experienced the growth to get him to the next level.
“Those Juco guys, they’re not just there because they can’t play baseball,” Trevino said. “They’re there to get drafted. They play just as well, or sometimes better than people in four-year schools.”
Trevino had many accolades to his name at Navarro, including 2015 All-East Freshman of the Year, 2016 All-East Player of the Year, 2015-16 All-East Conference, and 2016 All-Region XIV.
When he came to ACU, Head Coach Britt Bonneau had nothing but positive things to say about Trevino’s fielding and hitting abilities. His teammates now say the same thing. Trevino started in the three-hole in the first game, but his teammates weren’t upset about that.
“He proved in practices and scrimmages that he was the right guy to put there,” Crippen said. “And he proved it throughout the season, and he’s still proving it. I mean he’s been injured since the start and he’s still playing at another level.”
Indeed Trevino, who is usually a catcher, was injured in the first series of the year. He’s been nursing his injury and plans on catching on Tuesday against UTPB, but says he wants to do whatever gets the team higher in the win column.
“If playing DH gets us wins that’s fine,” Trevino said. “But if catching and playing the field gets us more, that’s even better.”
Over the 13-game hitting streak, Trevino hit .420 with 21 hits and 15 RBI. Now, Trevino is hitting .382 with 29 hits and 24 RBI, 5 more than Crippen had all last season as the leader for the Wildcats. Crippen isn’t bitter though, he actually welcomes the RBI.
“He’s in that three spot for a reason. Our one-two punch usually gets guys into scoring position and he brings them in, usually with an extra base,” Crippen said. “And that’s when our team has his back, with myself or another person in the four and five spots. He just makes this team better.”
Although Trevino is playing well here at ACU, he has his mind set on further aspirations, one that he has in his reach after playing with the La Crosse Loggers in both 2015 and 2016. The Loggers are a summer league team in Wisconsin for collegiate players, and it’s there he said his aspirations became clearer.
“I want to be a pro,” Trevino said. “On the way there, I want to help this team win as much as I can, but that’s the final goal.”
Trevino and the Wildcats continue conference play this weekend against Stephen F. Austin.