By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Off the heels of a breakout sophomore campaign, Tennessee Tech first baseman Jason Hinchman was honored as the NCAA's Division I statistical champion for home runs per game, the team's second-straight year with a national statistical leader.
In his first year as a Golden Eagle starter, the slugger blasted 24 long balls in 54 games, averaging 0.44 per game, or nearly one every other contest. With his performance, Hinchman became just the fourth Tech hitter to compile at least 20 dingers in a single season, joining the likes of A.J. Kirby-Jones (26 in 2010), Brandon Thomasson (22 in 2014) and Jeremy Bonczynski (20 in 1997).
"Jason has been blessed with tremendous talent as a hitter," Tech head coach Justin Holmes said. "He also possesses the work ethic it takes to turn his potential into production. Hinch has earned his place among the best power hitters in all of college baseball."
In terms of total home runs, Hinchman finished the 2019 campaign ranked second in the Ohio Valley Conference and tied for third nationally. National champion Vanderbilt's JJ Bleday led all hitter with 27 while OVC rival Austin Peay's Parker Phillips was second with 25. Hinchman tied fellow sophomore Alejandro Toral of Miami (Fla.) with 24. His 24 dingers also represented the fifth-most in OVC single-season history.
Hinchman earned OVC First Team honors after batting .278 with 54 runs scored, 11 doubles, 55 RBI and .697 slugging percentage, as well as a team-high 43 walks. The Winston, Ga. native also made just three errors all season at first base.
He became the second Tech player to finish the year as an NCAA statistical champion in as many years, joining his mentor, former first baseman Chase Chambers. Following the 2018 season, Chambers led all Division I players in total RBI with a whopping 84.
Photo by Thomas Corhern