PARKERSBURG - First-rate facilities were only part of the total package which lured Parkersburg High School first baseman Brett Burns to Marietta College.
"With baseball being No. 1, it seemed to be what Brett wanted," said his father Alan Burns, who also coaches the Big Red baseball program.
Burns recently announced his intention to play for the Pioneers next season. He earned a full academic scholarship after recording a 33 on his ACT.
"Growing up, I was like every other kid and said I was going away to college," Brett Burns said. "But with Marietta College, it was the best place to go for what I wanted."
Marietta College is all about championship baseball at the NCAA Division III level. The Pioneers have won four national titles and made 20 appearances in the College World Series.
This season, MC is rated No. 12.
"Brett looked at different schools and the places he went would be a step down facility-wise from what we have here at PHS," coach Burns said. "Coach Brewer talked about the way they play for championships - that's just what is expected. That was a big selling point."
Brett Burns has been a part of the PHS varsity team since his freshman year when he was a member of the pitching rotation. During his sophomore and junior year when he was not on the mound, he started at third base.
Last season as a junior, he led the Big Reds with a .402 batting average and .495 on-base percentage. He also scored 21 runs and drove in 23. His postseason awards included special honorable mention in the Mountain State Athletic Conference and second-team honorable mention all-state.
He caught coach Brewer's attention after participating in a fall league out of Columbus.
"Coach Brewer gets out of his players what he expects," Brett Burns said. "If you don't get that, that's your problem."
As a member of the Marietta-based team playing in Columbus, Burns played his natural position at first base. That's the same role he is looking to play at the college level.
"I've never been the actual full-time starting first baseman at PHS because we've never had a third baseman," he added. "Other schools (at the college level) wanted me at third base."
Having the opportunity to play in front of his family just across the river at Don Schaly Stadium is another bonus.
"It's not just about playing in front of my parents," Brett Burns said. "My sister, my aunts and uncles, and all of my grandparents - they've supported me. It's a tribute to them to be able to play the rest of my career here."