The Impact of Baseball Walk-Ons: Former Florida Memorial University Lion Sergio Chil

Head coach and Miami native Florentino Burgos was hired in 2017 to lead the Florida Memorial University baseball program. In his second season, the Lions made the Sun Conference tournament and finished with a school best, 24-19 record and a 13-11 record in conference play… good enough for a third seed in the conference tournament. The team was led by Sergio Chil, who came to Florida Memorial from Havana, Cuba via ASA College in Miami.

Sergio transferred to FMU during the 2017 season, walked onto the baseball program in Burgos second year and became a big piece of the success for the Lions that season.  Chil led the team in hitting and runs batted in, primarily as the designated hitter.

Throughout the entire 2018 season Sergio Chil consistently delivered big hit after big hit, helping Florida Memorial into the Sun Conference tournament for the first time in school’s history. Chil went from being a walk-on to one of the most productive players to ever play at FMU.

Sergio Chil’s relocation to Miami was facilitated by Texas Rangers scout Jose Rafael Fernandez, who is a good friend of Sergio’s father. Prior to going to ASA College, he was a student at Mártires de Barbados, a school in Cuba for high performance baseball athletes.

When he arrived at FMU, Sergio spent a lot of time in the batting cage with Lions hitting coach Yunieski Gurriel where he learned to hit the ball to the opposite field. In 2017, he finished with a .424 batting average with 37 RBIs and 14 doubles on the season.

Sergio Chil’s energy and enthusiasm carried into the 2018 season.

Timely hitting all year long propelled his team into the spot they are in now. Sergio put together one of the best offensive performances in school history. Chil finished the season with a career high .447 batting average, scored 26 runs, 68 hits, 17 doubles, 3 home runs, and 42 runs batted in.  His batting average ranked twentieth in the NAIA.

During one stretch of the 2018 season, the Lions faced a mid-week game against Florida National University and weekend action in two games verses Nyack College and one with Purdue University North Central. Sergio had a monster week at the plate for the Lions. In those four games as the designated hitter, Chil produced a .714 batting average in 14 at bats, 3 runs, 10 hits, and recorded 5 runs batted in while propelling Florida Memorial to a 3-1 record that week and earning Black College Nines’ Who’s Hot In HBCU Baseball weekly award.

Sergio Chil was named the Black College Nines (BCN ) National HBCU Player of The Year in 2018 and was a BCN First Team Elite.

Coach Burgos stated “Sergio Chil left a lasting impact on the FMU baseball program. His enthusiasm energized those who played with him. Now those players demonstrate the same passion Sergio had when he played. Our younger guys are feeding off that energy even though they have never played an inning with Sergio”.

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