Quincy’s Kirn commits to West Virginia to play final season of collegiate baseball


Quincy University left-hander Griffin Kirn, the Great Lakes Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year, is transferring to West Virginia University with one year of eligibility remaining. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — Aside from the genuine interest the West Virginia University coaching staff showed in him, Griffin Kirn found another reason to believe he could succeed pitching for the Mountaineers.

He saw what Derek Clark had done.

A left-hander who transferred to West Virginia from NCAA Division II Northwood with one year of eligibility remaining, Clark became the No. 1 starter, went 7-2 with a 3.05 ERA in the regular season, earned first-team All-Big 12 honors and led the Mountaineers to this weekend’s NCAA super regionals.

“It showed me the trust they have in that pipeline,” Kirn said.

Kirn is part of that pipeline now.

The Quincy University left-hander and Great Lakes Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year committed to West Virginia this week. Kirn has one year of eligibility remaining.

“I kind of kicked it around, but I really didn’t want to think about it during the season,” Kirn said of entering the transfer portal. “When it was over, I was like, ‘I had a great year. It’s now or never.’ I wanted to give myself a better chance to make my dream a reality.”

That dream is to pitch beyond college.

“It’s pretty surreal,” said Kirn, a 2020 Quincy Notre Dame graduate where he was a two-time all-sectional goalkeeper in soccer but lost his senior season of baseball to the COVID-19 pandemic. “I love Quincy. It’s been home forever. I want this next opportunity for my career. Hopefully this gives me the opportunity to get drafted and play professionally.”

Kirn finished his junior season with a 7-1 record and a 3.00 earned run average in 78 innings over 14 appearances, including 13 starts. He struck out 96, walked 25 and allowed opponents to hit just .235 against him, earning All-Midwest Region from the NCBWA and the D2CCA and an honorable mention All-American nod from the D2CCA.

His 255 career strikeouts rank second in program history and his 21 career victories has him in the top 10.

The southpaw opened some eyes last summer when he was a late-season bullpen addition for the Harwich Mariners in the Cape Cod League. He is headed to the Cape this weekend to rejoin the Mariners for the summer.

“Pitching in the Cape last summer was a big test for me,” Kirn said. “I was pretty nervous going out there and facing these big names and draft guys. I showed I could compete in a small sample size. … And I feel me going out in a different environment against better players is just going to make me better.”

The West Virginia coaches seem to agree.

“The coaches seemed very interested in me from the minute I entered the portal,” Kirn said. “I had a bunch of different teams call me, but they were one of the first teams to call me and the interest they had in me was genuine.”

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