Former Russell County Laker baseball player Peyton Back found out on Wednesday that he had been selected to his summer league’s all-star game.
Back, who graduated from Russell County High School in 2019, has been playing for the Trifectom Tropics of the Collegiate Summer League (CSL) at Grand Park in Indianapolis this summer.
With 38 games total to play for the season, Back’s Tropics are currently 9-7 and nearly at the halfway point of the season. On Wednesday, the league announced he was one of less than 30 position players and one of only two third basemen chosen to play in the league’s midseason all-star game.
“It’s just a great opportunity,” Back said. “It’s a good league. There’s a lot of talent. I kind of had a feeling I would get it because I’ve been playing pretty well lately. To be surrounded by this amount of talent, it was awesome finding out.”
Back said he currently has a .460 batting average, 16 hits, a home run, four doubles, and “around 10 RBI” in just 10 games in the CSL.
This is his second consecutive year playing in a summer league. In 2021, he went to North Carolina to play in the Coastal Plain League and earned an all-star bid during that stop as well.
Back is coming off a productive junior season at Bellarmine, a Division 1 program in the ASUN Conference. Back ranked fourth on the team with five home runs and fifth with 20 RBI and runs scored.
Bellarmine “definitely encourages” its players to take part in summer league ball and the coaching staff helps the players find placement in various leagues, based on their talent and experience.
Back is currently in Indianapolis with two of his Bellarmine teammates, including one that was also selected to the all-star team, Brett Pfaadt.
“[Summer league] keeps you sharpened up, gets you reps, keeps you on your toes and locked in,” Back said. “It keeps me grounded.”
The all-star showcase is scheduled for Monday, July 4, at 5 p.m. CT and has a “Stars and Stripes” theme. Back and Pfaadt were both selected to “Team Stars.”
“I would just say I’ve been pretty blessed this summer,” Back said. “I’ve got two teammates from school here, I’m close to home and living with a host family. One of my teammates is playing with me (in the all-star game). It’s been a great summer.”
Being in Indianapolis also allowed him to attend most of his alma mater’s postseason games this season during its historic run to state runner-up.
“Since I was close, I went to most of their region and almost all of their state games,” Back said. “[Laker head coach David] Rexroat had me fired up. I had to perform a little better for him this summer after seeing that.”
He added that coming up through the Russell County baseball program has helped him immensely in his collegiate baseball journey.
“I’m doing stuff in college ball that Rex had me doing at 14,” Back said. “It was really cool watching [the Lakers] go as far as they did, and I’m super stoked for him and the year they had for him this year. No one is more deserving. He’s a great players’ coach. I’m just grateful for him and grateful for the city of Russell Springs and Russell County … Their support is unmatched.”