Every baseball team dreams about having that one hitter who quiets the crowd as he steps to the plate, as every spectator waits in silent anticipation of the towering home run to come. Wittenberg University has found such a player in Tyler Hutchinson.
Hutchinson, a senior first baseman and designated hitter, has been locked into the third or fourth spot in the Wittenberg lineup since the moment he transferred here last year. He brings a mix of power and average that few players at the Division III level can match. Last season, Hutchinson was named First Team All-North Coast Athletic Conference, along with being named Second Team All-Mideast Region. He hit .382, while leading the team with five home runs and 34 runs batted in. Hutchinson also seems to be a magnet for the baseball, as he was hit by a whopping 16 pitches in 2013, a program record.
Hutchinson transferred to Wittenberg from Campbell University of the Big South Conference. Acquiring a Division I player is always a big deal for any small division team, but especially for the Tigers, who haven’t had much success in the last few decades.
Hutchinson has enjoyed his time at Wittenberg. “I enjoy playing baseball here at Wittenberg,” Hutchinson said when asked what the biggest difference was between Wittenberg and Campbell. “Campbell wasn’t a good experience for me.”
Hutchinson is a Sociology major from Lebanon, Ohio. He led the NCAC in on-base percentage and was second in slugging percentage.
Hutchinson is off to another great start this season, batting .306 with 10 runs batted in. He has managed to stay out of harm’s way this season, as he has only been hit by a pitch four times so far.
“Our goals for this season are to win the conference and have a chance to play in the regionals,” Hutchinson said.
The baseball team’s next home games are Sunday, April 13 against Kenyon.