Making the play: Tiger embraces middle ground

Jessie Fink went to school in Austin during his elementary years and played baseball in the summer time.

He attends Crothersville High School and recalled a few years ago going to a couple Cincinnati Reds games, which gave him the urge to play for the Tigers in the spring of his junior year.

“I caught the spark and decided to jump back in it,” Fink said.

He has been the Tigers’ starting shortstop the past two seasons and has done some relief pitching.

Fink said he likes playing defense and being a leader in the infield.

“You’ve got to think of a lot of things,” he said. “I enjoy making the plays and looking good. Everybody is clapping for you when you make a good play.”

Fink said he enjoys fielding a ball to his left and throwing to the second baseman for a double play.

“Backhanding the ball is the hardest play,” Fink said. “Sometimes I go out to get the throw from the outfield and relay it to home.”

The senior said he believes communication between him and the outfielders is key on short fly balls to the outfield.

“It depends on how you read it off the bat,” Fink said. “If you’re good at reading it off the bat you can get to it. If the wind is pushing it back toward left field most of the time you let the left fielder have it or if its shorter then you can call them off.

“The shortstop has priority in the infield on that side. If you know you can get to it you can call the left fielder off. Sometimes, if the center fielder is playing in enough he can make the play.”

He said he watches how batters stand in the box and changes his defensive position.

“I try to read their feet when they get in the box and if they turn to drive it to the opposite field I scoot over toward second, and tell the second baseman to move over,” he said. “If the other team has a runner on third I move in and I tell the second baseman to move in to protect the plate.”

Fink said he began the season hitting first or second, but has batted in the No. 4 spot for the past several games.

He lets pitches outside the strike zone go by for balls, and pitches close to the strike zone “you’ve got to protect the plate.”

He hit one home run this spring, at New Washington.

Fink said he doesn’t go up to bat with the idea of hitting a home run.

“I’m not going try and let it get to my head,” Fink said. “I just want to get hits.”

He said he wants to average a hit per game.

He enjoys pitching as he has started a few games and pitched in relief.

“The fastball is my favorite pitch to throw,” Fink said. “I like to paint the lower, outside corner. I work in a curveball. Last year it was like a ‘slow roller.’ This year it is definitely better. Our pitching coach (Dusty Lewis) worked with us quite a bit. I throw a change, and I’ve got a knuckleball too, but it just depends on the day.

Fink said his highlight game was beating Columbus Christian this season when he had five hits.

He said he likes the improvements that have been made to the Tigers’ diamond and he enjoys the home games.

“Coming in last year it was pretty rough,” he said. “We had it re-tiled, new fencing, a new mound, new baselines and edging done, so it’s a lot better. The art class painted the dugouts.”

Fink has enjoyed being a student at Crothersville.

“Everyone gets along, and everybody has a good repetition and the teachers are cool,” Fink said. “They get along with you. Baseball will be my best memories.”

Fink file

Name: Jessie Fink

School: Crothersville High School

Parents: Jody Fink, Tonia Spicer

Siblings: Tyler, Tiffany, Sam

Sports: baseball 2 years

Athletic awards: pitching award

Organizations: science club, cadet teaching

Plans after high school: join workforce

Favorite food: pizza

Favorite TV show: Street Outlaws

Favorite team, athlete: Cincinnati Reds, Mike Trout

Author photo
Jordan Morey is sports editor at The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at jmorey@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.