Heading into his second-to-last Canadian Premier Baseball League season, Great Lake Canadians infielder Tyler Hinrikus couldn’t be more excited for what the future holds.
Looking to hold onto the CPBL championship title that the 18U GLC squad won last year, Hinrikus and his teammates hope to follow in the footsteps of those who came before them, before moving on. And when the time comes to take a step forward, Hinrikus has secured a collegiate spot with a commitment to Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.
“I really just want to finish out strong,” Hinrikus said. “We have a good group of guys this year and for next year, and I think all of us just want to win the CPBL. That’s really the main goal.”
The third baseman will join the Cardinals for the fall of 2020, after committing to the squad earlier this year.
“They saw me at an event in Indiana last summer, and then we talked over email for a couple months before anything happened,” Hinrikus said. “The recruiting coordinator Blake Beemer called me a couple times and was helping to arrange for a visit and so I went there in January.
“It felt like everything was really good for me, so the decision wasn’t too tough. A couple weeks after the visit, they made the offer over the phone and about a week later, I committed. It was pretty quick.”
In Muncie, Hinrikus toured the Ball State campus, met some of his future teammates and talked to the coaching staff. He was most enamored by the time Cardinals head coach Rich Maloney offered to him and his father during their visit.
“That was probably the biggest thing,” Hinrikus said. “He wasn’t even going to come in to do the visit. It was just supposed to be the recruiting coordinator, but he decided he wanted to come in, and we sat there for like an hour and 15 minutes and just talked to him.”
Impressed by everything he encountered throughout his time on campus, Hinrikus is looking forward to joining the Mid-American Conference and playing for the people who recruited him.
“The MAC is a pretty good conference,” he said. “And I’m definitely a fan of being not too far from home. It’s a chance to play at a high level, and it was a great fit for me. I really like the coaching staff, and I think that was the main thing…The facilities were really nice and they’re redoing stuff and trying to add all the time. They’re always trying to get better.”
After the next two seasons with Great Lake, the Canadians organization is excited to see what Hinrikus can take with him to Indiana.
“We’ve seen Tyler play for a few years obviously against us in the CPBL,” said Adam Stern, GLC director of player development. “He’s obviously a guy who’s got some power. He’s just on the front end of what he will be. He profiles as a power-hitting third baseman, and is somebody with a lot of different facets to his game. He’s a good athlete, profiles well at the corner, and is someone who is going to be a really good college player.”
Hinrikus knows he will head to Ball State with something to prove, but is already looking forward to getting going with the Cardinals, and the GLC program is excited for what he can offer now, and in the future.
“Obviously a lot of guys are told they’re going to come in and play right away,” Hinrikus said. “I wasn’t told that, but I was told there would be a really good chance of me playing right away, and being a contributor as a freshman. So I’m really excited, and I’ve set goals. I want to come in right away and make an impact.”
Added Stern: “Seeing him as a 2020 [commit], what he could be able to do on a baseball field – he could be ready to go. He’s shown some big-time raw power with us. For him, it’s about getting everything together and playing with confidence when he goes out there, to show what he really can do. He’s just scratching the surface, so in 2020, they’re going to get themselves a really good baseball player.”