Kelton Hall was on a tear at the plate for the Northwest Ranger baseball team this spring and looked almost unstoppable, but the coronavirus epidemic was able to set Hall down when opposing pitchers could not. Hall was batting .500 in only 12 games while going 18 for 36 with four home runs and 20 RBI.
Hall had hit .271 with six home runs and 20 RBI with three doubles in his freshman campaign at Northwest. He played in 40 games for the Rangers and was a starter in 39 games.
"I just felt like I was more comfortable at the plate this year and hitting is all confidence," Hall said. "My confidence came from my coaches because they are the best in the business when it comes to hitting and they got me right where I needed to be in time for the season.
Hall, who played his high school ball at Ingomar, was in his sophomore season at Northwest Mississippi Community College playing under head coach Mark Carson. The Rangers were 14-1 on the season when play was halted in March. Hall had two Union County teammates on the team, Cade Bell and Joel Wilkinson of East Union.
"I felt like our team was on the right track to be in Enid (Oklahoma) competing for a national championship at the end of May," Hall said. "We all just worked so hard in the offseason to get to where we were and I think it showed early on.
"This was one of the most tight-knit teams that I've ever been a part of. We all were just grinding for the same thing and we wanted to be the best we could be, day in and day out. That started with the coaches pushing us to be the best we could be."
Hall's impressive numbers at the plate also included a .917 slugging percentage and an on-base percentage of .565. Hall also had a double and a triple to go with his four homers and had stolen four bases in four attempts. He spent most of his games defensively at first base while playing a couple of games at third.
Hall had lofty goals for himself and his talent-laden team going into the 2020 season and early on, many of those goals were being realized.
"Going into the season my goals were to be a leader and to put myself in the best situation to help my team win every game," said Hall. "My team goal was to make it to Enid because I feel pretty good about our chances once we got there with the pitching staff and hitting that we had.
Needless to say, the abrupt ending of the season was extremely disappointing to Hall and his Ranger teammates after their great start.
"The toughest thing that has come out of all of this is how hard we worked in the offseason and then not getting to see the full outcome, from the 6 a.m. workouts to the afternoon conditioning, but I know that this was out of our control and that everything happens for a reason," Hall said.
Hall has been back at home with his family since the baseball season ended and school was dismissed, but he has kept busy.
"I've been using most of my time doing school work (online) and hanging out with a few of my friends," Hall said. "I am also helping my grandad farm this year so I am pretty excited about that."
Hall is keeping an open mind about his next move regarding school and baseball, but chances are that he will be heading back to complete his unfinished work with the Rangers.
"I have multiple options for next year which I am very thankful for, but as for right now, I will be going back to Northwest for another year," he said.
Perhaps in 2021, Hall and his Northwest Ranger teammates will be able to complete their unfinished business of 2020 and make the trek to Enid to compete for the national championship.