Corson headed to Bucknell in fall
HUGHESVILLE — Only a broken water heater prevented Jacob Corson from perfect high school baseball attendance.
Corson’s help was needed at home during his freshman season following the break and he missed a voluntary workout. It had to take something beyond Corson’s control to keep him away from the field. He always made sure nothing else could.
Baseball is his passion, his true love, and Corson set a fabulous example all four seasons at Hughesville. He showed the only thing greater than his talent was his dedication.
“If he could play baseball 24/7, 365 days a year there’s no question he would do it. He loves it,” Hughesville coach Chris Kish said. “If there is one guy that I always knew was going to be here it was Jacob Corson. He’s gamer.”
And now he is a Bucknell Bison.
Corson will play for Bucknell next spring, fulfilling a lifetime goal. The recent Hughesville graduate still has one chance to play with his Hughesville teammates, though, competing in a newly formed four-team league which also features Loyalsock, Warrior Run and Central Mountain which competes at Hughesville’s Bodine Park.
One better believe he’s not missing those practices or games either. Corson’s senior season was erased by the COVID-19 pandemic, but he still has another shot at being a team leader and he is embracing it.
“I was spoiled my first four years to have a kid that was so invested. He didn’t just like it, he didn’t just love it, he lived it every day,” Kish said following Thursday’s 11-5 win against Loyalsock at Bodine Park. “We’ll see who the next guy is. I’m sure there will be somebody out there, but whoever it is they are going to have some big shoes to fill.”
Corson would have been a four-year starter last spring and was one of the biggest reasons Hughesville looked like both a district and state title contender. A versatile player who pitched, caught and played shortstop, Corson increased his statistics in each of the past two seasons and became one of the district’s top players as a junior.
Corson also competed on the U.S. Elite team during the previous three summers. He played center field for those teams which competed in several prestigious tournaments throughout the South, often against some of the country’s premier players.
Playing all over the field could be quite an asset as Corson joins Bucknell. Right now he is mostly being viewed as a shortstop. He has proven effective at nearly every position over the years which will give Bucknell flexibility.
“I’m going in kind of as a utility. I’ll play wherever they want me,” Corson said. “Hopefully I can find a spot so I can swing it.”
That was not a problem in high school. A lifetime .360 hitter at Hughesville, Corson produced 71 hits in three years, compiled a .436 on-base percentage and improved in every major category the past two seasons.
As a junior, Corson hit .483 with two home runs, 11 extra-base hits, 17 RBIs and 16 runs scored. He also hit safely in 14 of his last 15 games. He put together a 12-game hitting streak and went 2 for 3 with a home run in a late-season win against Class AAAA state champion Selingrove.
“The thing that separates him from a lot of guys going into the collegiate level will be his bat. They will find a spot for you if you can swing it and he can swing it,” Kish said. “That is his plus asset and I think everything else will come as he gets to the next level and he becomes more of an elite defender as he has more time to do it.”
Seton Hall also offered Corson a scholarship and Mount St. Mary’s was interested. After visiting Bucknell last January, however, Corson new his search was over.
“Bucknell felt like home,” he said. “I love the campus. It’s close to home and that’s sweet for my parents to be able to come out and watch me play just about every Saturday and Sunday. I’m glad I made the decision. I think it’s the right fit for me.”
Corson is hoping his first season at Bucknell will be a lot less chaotic and frustrating as his final one at Hughesville. He is expecting to attend fall classes on campus, although he and other students are still awaiting word on how that will proceed.
What happens there, Corson cannot control. What he can control is the time he devotes to becoming the best baseball player he can be. That commitment has helped him achieve a dream, but the work continues.
“I’ve always wanted to play in college. As soon as I got to high school I knew I was going to pursue it and hopefully get a chance to play at the next level,” Corson said. “I’m fortunate enough to be able to play at the Division I level and I’m really excited about it.”