One Tipton County graduate has at least a couple more games to play and the other just wrapped up his career, but one thing is for sure: Brighton graduate Dalton Rushing and Covington graduate Ethan Whitley have each put together very impressive college baseball careers.
Whitley, who wrapped up a five-year career at UT-Martin last month, has his name all over the Skyhawks record book. He ranks first in putouts (1,450), second in homers (36), second in games played (200), fifth in RBIs (118) and fifth in hits (184).
After leading Covington to the state tournament his senior year (2017), Whitley moved on to UT-Martin and made an immediate impact. With a team-high nine homers and 32 RBIs, Whitley became just the fifth Skyhawk to be named to the Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American team.
Whitley hit 10 more homers as a sophomore to move into sixth place in career homers. After an abbreviated 2020 season, Whitley started all 48 games in 2021 and added 11 homers and 29 RBIs to his career numbers. Whitley went deep six more times this past season to finish three homers away from the program record.
Dalton Rushing, a 2019 Brighton High School graduate and now a junior at the University of Louisville, is not done with college baseball just yet. The Cardinals beat Michigan earlier this week to advance to the Super Regional round of the NCAA tournament against Texas A&M. A win there puts them in the College World Series.
Rushing has been a huge reason for the success of the Cardinals, who have been nationally ranked all year. Rushing was a second team selection by Collegiate Baseball, making him the 33rd player in Louisville program history to be named an All-American and the 45th overall All-America selection.
He has been outstanding this spring in his first season as a full-time starter. Splitting time at catcher, first base and designated hitter, Rushing is hitting .310 with 21 home runs and 58 RBIs. Entering the postseason, Rushing led the Cardinals with 35 extra-base hits, 138 total bases, a .473 on-base percentage and .701 slugging percentage.
Dalton went on a power binge to close out the regular season, homering nine times over the final 12 games, including his first career multi-homer game against Pitt at the ACC Championship.
Rushing is the first Louisville player to hit 20 home runs since Drew Ellis in 2017 and the first Cardinal with 21 or more homers since Phil Wunderlich did so in 2010.
He was not a starter his first two seasons, playing behind Henry Davis, who was picked number one overall in last year’s MLB Draft. Rushing could be joining him soon in the pros. According to mlb.com, Rushing is the 59th-best prospect. If he chooses to make himself eligible for the draft, Rushing is projected to be a late second round pick.