First Pitch dinner honors baseball players

by | Jun 15, 2023 | Foundation

Hinds baseball alumni, parents and other fans packed the inaugural First Pitch dinner to honor current year players and hear the story of University of Southern Mississippi baseball Associate Head Coach Christian Ostrander.

“We hope to continue this year in and year out as a way to not only recognize our current student-athletes but also find ways to tie in our baseball alumni to our program,” said Hinds Community College Foundation Executive Director Matt Jones. “Ultimately we’d like to do this for our other sports programs as well.” At the Jan. 28 event at Mayo Fieldhouse, Head Baseball Coach Dan Rives introduced each member of this year’s team.

“Hinds baseball is supported. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be head coach of a baseball program like this,” Rives said. “These guys take care of their business, on and off the field. They’re very humble and hardworking. They have a collective 3.43 GPA this past fall. Those things are important. Those things are going to carry them a long way after they leave Hinds.”

Ostrander, who coached at Jones College for several years, said community college athletes “are extremely important to us. When we’re recruiting a junior college guy, what we want and what we need is for him to walk in and be able to go right away,” he said.

“You want to go someplace you’re going to play. We want guys who are hungry to play. Junior college players are so crucial because they are immediately experienced,” Ostrander said.

The first pitch dinner was a huge success in its inaugural year, said Director of Athletics Nathan Werremeyer.

“The support from parents, friends and administrators was on full display at the event with the number of attendees. We’re going to have to make it bigger next year,” he said. “Coach Rives and Coach Ostrander did an outstanding job with their conversation, and it was great to see all the players with their families.”