Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.

Huntzinger confidently overcoming challenges

For a freshman to jump from backup to starter within a year is an impressive feat on its own, but to do so while also changing positions is even more applaudable.

Jerry Huntzinger saw the field nine times for the Seton Hall baseball team last season and featured heavily as the team’s back-up catcher. He hit .111 in nine at bats and managed just four RBIs in 2018, but those statistics would have never foreseen the efficiency and involvement he is showcasing on a regular basis this season.

He has featured in all 19 of Seton Hall games so far this season, starting 15 of them at right field rather than his natural position at catcher. As far as Huntzinger is concerned, though, it is just an opportunity for him to see more time on the field as a starter.

“I played a bit of outfield during summer ball; it’s not that bad” Huntzinger said when asked about how he handled the transition from catcher to outfielder. “You get better at it each day, I just have to work with Coach Pappas and see where it takes me this season.”

Jerry Hutzinger sprints out the batter's box. Photo via SHU Athletics

Huntzinger’s current .340 batting average is second only to Christian Del Castillo amongst the Pirates. More time on the field has also allowed him to surpass his four RBIs of last season. He is also among the team leaders in slugging percentage with a .377 average.

He did acknowledge, however, that there were a few aspects of his game that needed refining if he were to make the step up to an elite collegiate outfielder. “In the outfield I need to work on reading the ball a little bit better, and I also have to work on how I approach my at bats,” Huntzinger said.

It is a hefty load for a player only in his second collegiate season to take on, but it is one Huntzinger approaches with admiration. His attitude is aware but unbothered when discussing his current difficulties as they are weaknesses that can be mended with more practice and hard work both in and out of competitive game situations.

The early-season struggles the Pirates are currently facing does not necessarily help with the in-game transition and experience Huntzinger will need to get better. As of right now, the team is off to a rough-and-tumble 8-12 start after having only lost 20 games last season.

Though they are not the most favorable conditions to be adapting to a new position and taking on more responsibilities in, they may benefit Huntzinger in the long run as he will have to adapt to the game at a much quicker and mature quickly.

Huntzinger’s performances in the outfield, however, have been decent as he has only made one error and maintains a healthy .984 fielding average. He attributes any of the success he has found early on at right field to help of his coaches as they have made the move from catcher to outfielder as smooth as can be. The Pirates will only continue to ask more of Huntzinger, especially as the team enters Big East play, but the Pirates’ young outfielder feels more than capable of jumping the hurdles that await on the baseball field.

Justin Sousa can be reached at or on Twitter @Sousa7474.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Setonian delivered to your inbox

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Setonian