Luke Binsted questioned his decision. Had he made a mistake transferring from Manassas Park High School to Brentsville for his senior year?
He knew no one at the Nokesville school outside of Billy Hoad. And even that was a stretch since the two only crossed paths through travel baseball.
“I was definitely second-guessing,” Binsted said. “I talked to my mom about moving back.”
But the longer Binsted held off, the more he began to fit in at his new school. He made friends and baseball season was just around the corner. He stayed and is glad he did.
So is Brentsville’s baseball team.
Binsted’s arrival strengthened an already talent-laden team with state-title aspirations.
The Tigers’ most consistent hitter this season, Binsted has given his team another potent bat in the lineup. Going into Thursday’s Class 3 state semifinal against Fluvanna, Binsted was hitting .357 with 19 RBIs and 25 runs from the No. 3 position in the batting order. He moves players into position to score, while possessing excellent plate discipline (he’s only struck out three times.)
Brentsville has also benefitted from Binsted’s personality.
“He has been the constant verbal leader that teams need,” Brentsville head coach Brian Knight said. “We are not generally a ‘rah-rah’ type of team but he has brought some energy to this team when we needed it.”
While quiet in other surroundings, Binsted said he’s always been outspoken on the field.
“It’s something I learned from my brothers,” Binsted said. “I play with a lot of heart and a lot of passion. I can’t contain it.”
Binsted said considered transferring to Brentsville after the Tigers lost in last year’s state semifinals. He texted Hoad for his take on the team. An opportunity was there. Brentsville graduated two key starters, including outfielder Garrett Cornell, and Binsted’s mother lived in Brentsville’s school zone.
“I felt like I could step in,” Binsted said. “We had a talented team.”
Even though Manassas Park struggled in 2018 with a 2-14 record, Binsted said the move wasn’t easy. He’d played for the Cougars’ varsity baseball team since the end of his freshman year. His first varsity game in fact came against Brentsville, where he went 1 for 1 with two walks and a single. He was a second-team all-district shortstop last year and had the chance to play with his younger brother this season. But the chance to play for a possible state champion was too much to pass up.
Binsted said he faced some backlash for transferring to Manassas Park’s cross-town rival, but others affirmed his choice.
“There were some people who were not happy I decided to leave,” said Binsted, who will attend West Virginia in the fall but only as a student. “But I had a lot of support too.”