Cougar of the Week: Tyler Hutchinson

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Photo by Jonathan Edelman

Photo by Jonathan Edelman

Tyler Hutchinson (‘17) majors in biology and starts in the outfield for men’s baseball team. Hutchinson performed well in both the Elms College game and the Worcester State game, totalling three hits for the year in his nine at-bats. He sat down with The Scarlet to talk about his outlook for this season, and his fondness for pranks, country music, and chocolate milk powder.

Scarlet: What made you start playing baseball?

Tyler:  Watching Ken Griffey Jr. Also my dad was really into baseball; at a young age I had a glove and a bat, and I remember being in the living room and he was tossing me batting practice.

Scarlet: Did you ever think that you were going to be playing college baseball?

Tyler: Not initially, I had a dream of playing college hockey, but having a back injury really put a damper on things, and I didn’t want to put any more stress on my back. I had two stress fractures from just the years of playing. The nature of the sport has you playing in an upright position, and that puts a lot of stress on the back. Various times in my hockey career I had to go to physical therapists. I am really happy I decided to play college baseball. It has been a dream come true.

Scarlet: How is this year’s team looking?

Tyler: The team looks very strong. We lost four key seniors, but we gained some strong freshmen. Our new coach has really been working with us. He is going to turn this program into a powerhouse. I only wish I could be here for four more years, but two will have to be enough.

Scarlet: What happened in the Worcester State game?

Tyler: I think we came out a little to anxious and nervous, it being the home opener. We aren’t used to playing in February. I think the first game jitters got to us. It felt like there was a lot of pressure on us, like it was the World Series. At the beginning of the game we were all trying to do more than what we usually do. From this we got down at the beginning of the game, but we fought our way back, but it wasn’t enough.

Scarlet: I saw you guys had an errorless game against Elms. Where would you rank that defensive performance among other games you have played here?

Tyler: It was stronger than last year. We turned some nice double plays that started from pitching. Even when our pitching got into a jam we were still able to cut and relay, which was great because we’ve been preparing for it in practice, and it really showed in the game.

Scarlet: What are you hoping to accomplish this season?

Tyler: I hope that the team comes in every game focused, and we don’t lose ourselves to games. Our ultimate goal should also be making it to NEWMACs and winning it. I want our team to work hard, stay humble and come to the field focused every day. Personally I’d love to be NEWMAC Player of the Week, and I’d like to put my team in a position to win everyday.

Scarlet: I heard that you are quite the funny guy on the baseball team. Can you tell me more about this?

Tyler: Yeah I’d say I’ve got a little humor in me. Last year I prank called one of my teammates using an app. I used my coach’s phone number, which was displayed on my friends phone, and this kid thought he was talking to our coach about cutting him off in his car downtown. It was really funny, but other than that I think I am just a goof, my teammates can tell you and I’m sure they’d be happy to.

Scarlet: Are there any first-years that people should look out for this season?

Tyler: Mike Tice (‘19) definitely, he’s a very humble hard working individual. He has a strong mound presence, and he can really make a name for himself on the team. He also is very good up at the plate; he’s a very versatile player overall. I can see Jeremy Brent (19’) being just as impactful for the team, but I haven’t seen much. However, what I have seen is looking real good, and I hope to see more of it.

Scarlet:  Can you tell what your obsession with chocolate milk is?

Tyler: You know I just love Nesquik chocolate powder, it’s just a great taste. I started it in third grade and up to now I have it for breakfast everyday. It’s like my coffee: I have to have it. But I only like Nesquik chocolate powder, nothing else.

Scarlet: Do you have any pregame rituals you do, like wearing the same pair of socks?

Tyler: Yeah, I always start listening to country music, it really relaxes me and get me pumped for the game, but it also calms my nerves. My walk-up song is “Kick The Dust Up”, by Luke Bryan.

 
Thanks for the interview, Tyler!