HSC Tigers Roar to Life
The Hampden-Sydney Tigers baseball season is off to a fierce start, with the Tigers holding a 6-1 record since their season opener on February 16th. Navona Hart and Real Living Cornerstone are proud to partner with the celebrated tradition of Hampden-Sydney athletics as sponsors of the Tigers baseball team this year.
Coached by head coach Jeff Kinne, the Tigers are coming off a solid 28-15 record from last season and have been picked 7th in an ODAC preseason poll. With 23 players returning from the 2016 season, this year’s team is poised for yet another strong season.
Coach Kinne, who is marking his 14th year at the helm of HSC baseball, notes that this year’s Tigers are young and hungry, but have a lot of learning to do.
“This is the youngest team I have ever coached so I know there will be lots of ups and downs,” says Kinne. “But we have some good players. There’s a lot of potential if they mature fast,” he adds.
“The great American pastime” has a special place in the heart of the community. Coach Kinne and the Tigers are grateful and buoyed by the local support. Sponsors like Real Living Cornerstone represent one of the many ways that Farmville rallies around its college teams. The beautiful early Spring weather has also helped things start off energetically. Crowds come out to enjoy the weather as well as the games, which are free and open to the public.
“The Farmville community is great. We gets lots of support,” Kinne says. “The guys really enjoy seeing the big crowds at the games. We would love to see this beautiful weather continue because it really dictates crowd size.”
For veteran Kinne, crowd size is the least important factor in doing what he loves.
“The games are great and I love being around the field for games and practices. But the relationships with the players and other coaches are the best,” Kinne says. “When former players come back and I see how great they are doing, it makes me feel proud,” Kinne adds.
The Tigers suffered their first loss of the season over the weekend, falling to Moravian College during the Floyd B. Wilcox Memorial Tournament. They went on to finish the weekend with a strong win over Stevenson College the next day.
The following weeks will be crucial for the young team as they continue to solidify as a group.
According to Coach Kinne, “The guys play really hard and that has helped us get a good start. Now we need to play smarter,” he says. “I am definitely excited about where we can go.”