LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Last spring the Faith Christian baseball program fielded just 19 players under first-year head coach Dan Hickman. This spring, Hickman saw that number stay relatively the same, but it included no juniors and just one returning senior.
The Eagles lone returning senior is Evan Townsend. Hickman also had two others come out for their final year, but the Rensselaer native and former Missouri State player never got a chance to know them because of the canceled season.
Townsend pitched and was expected to be Faith's number one starter. The future Purdue student also played second, shortstop and third base. Hickman described Townsend as 'fast, really athletic, with a good arm.' Before Hickman watched Townsend on the diamond,
he vividly remembers meeting him following a class that winter.
"This kid comes up to me and puts his hand out and shakes my hand and looks me in the eye and says, "Hey I just wanted to thank you for your time and for coming over and doing this for us. I really appreciate it," said Hickman.
"I'm coming from, I've been around other programs, public schools, I've helped a lot of the baseball at Rensselaer and I thought he was being sarcastic."
"For the rest of the year when we'd leave practice I mean I don't think he ever once left practice without walking up to me, shaking my hand, looking me dead in the eye and going, "Hey coach. Thanks a lot for today."
"That was awesome. His glass was always half full. Never half empty. He's a real special kid. I've told a lot of people I'm like, "He's that kid you'd want your daughter to marry."