The Hawks baseball team finished their first season in school history this weekend, falling to Edison State Community College in two doubleheaders. The Hawks compete in the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference and play some of the best competition in Junior College baseball. The team started the season with over 20 men on the roster, but as the year progressed, injuries would take out key players in the lineup. Although the numbers dwindled, the Hawks still put up a fight in every game. They finished the season with a 5-22 record. For a brand new program, five wins is a great starting point moving forward. All five happened to also come in conference play (OCCAC).
The Hawks were led offensively by Sam Buddelmeyer, who finished with a .377 batting average, collecting 26 hits on 69 plate appearances and smacking a team-leading two home runs. Buddelmeyer was also named 2022 OCCAC All-Conference 2nd team.
On the mound, the top pitcher for the Hawks was Nathan Simmons. Simmons pitched 43.1 innings and had an earned run average (ERA) of 5.40. Simmons also struck out 42 batters while only walking 15. Jaron Langley was the leader on the diamond as he collected 25 assists by the season's end.
When asked about how he felt about the season and what he has to look forward to for next year, Head Coach Stewart Clinger said “Injuries really killed us down the stretch, but we had 9 players in the field and at the plate giving 100% effort. When August 2022 gets here, there will be a lot of new faces on the team as we’ve had a full year to recruit, and word of our program has now made its way across the state, it goes a long way to build up our roster. But there will also be something new to this 2nd year team, and that will be experienced players returning for their second “swing” at the title. Baseball at Hocking in year 2 will be a lot of fun!”