Springfield’s Jarrett Orbin is helping turns things around for the Geneva baseball program

Sports

Orbin batted .429 with 9 RBI's in the shortened-season for the Golden Tornadoes

Jarrett Orbin

NEW MIDDLETOWN, OHIO (WKBN) – The Geneva College Golden Tornadoes baseball program entered the 2020 season counting on their talented freshman class to help turn things around.  One of those key freshmen is former Springfield Tiger standout, Jarrett Orbin.

Coming off a disappointing 7-28 mark in 2019, Orbin and sixteen other first-year players brought a new attitude and hunger to the Tornadoes program this year.  Unfortunately, those high hopes were cut short by the coronavirus shortened season with the Tornadoes holding a 4-5 record when play stopped.

“Coach (Alan) Sumner did a really good job of recruiting and we have a strong freshman class,” Orbin remarked.  “A good number of those guys can play right away.  Looking at our record at four and five, so that is already pretty good.  We should have been above five hundred, but we lost a couple of close games that didn’t go our way, but that’s baseball, and that happens.”

It didn’t take long for Orbin to play an important part in the Tornadoes season as he was named the starting catcher in the very first game of the season against Gallaudet.  Orbin and the Tornadoes came out on fire that opener as they sweep Gallaudet 11-0, and 20-6 in a double-header between the two clubs.

“It was definitely a weird feeling,” Orbin admitted.  “Going into my freshman season and then coach told me I was making the start in the first game of the season and I was kind of shocked.  I knew I had what it took, but I never expected that just because Dylan (O’Rouke) is a junior and bigger than I am.  I was definitely confident that I could get the job done.”

Orbin would respond to the situation as he collected his first collegiate hit in the fifth inning of that contest while knocking in a runner.  He would also add a sacrifice fly in the seventh to help propel the Tornadoes to the victory in the season opener.

“It was an amazing feeling,” he stated about the hit.  “Just getting it out of the way, especially in the first game.  When you go to the next level you start to search for your first hit, first RBI, and to do that in the first game and get it out of way so you can play the game naturally.”

On the season, Orbin had started four games as a catcher and had appeared in two games as a pitcher for the Tornadoes.  When play stopped, Orbin was batting a fabulous .429, second-highest on the team, collecting six hits on fourteen at-bats.  He had also knocked in 9 RBI’s.  In addition, he appeared twice on the mound, pitching one and two-thirds of an inning.

“I started off really well.  I was finding my rhythm, hitting the ball and putting it in play.  I think the one game I had four RBI’s in the game which was terrific.  I had a very good spring break in Florida, and I was really pumped to come back and play the conference games, and then this whole pandemic happened,” he remarked about the fast start.

The season for the Tornadoes ended on March 13th, just as they were about to play North Central University in Fort Peirce, Florida.  But just as the two teams were warming up for the impending game, Tornadoes coach Sumner received a devastating phone call.

“We got to the field, stretched, and were ready to go.  The pitchers were getting loose and the other team was on the field and we were getting ready to hit.  And then about five minutes prior to the game our Athletic Director called our head coach and said we had to stop and we weren’t allowed to play the game,” Orbin explained the scene.

He added, “It was one of those feelings of why can’t we play it because we are already on the field and ready to go.  We were confused.  But the other team turned it into an inter-squad game so we all stayed and watched them which was pretty neat to see.”

For Orbin, attending Geneva College feels right at home.  He had a big influence from his grandfather who graduated from the school.

“My grandfather is one of my biggest role models, I look up to him.  So when I was in my recruiting process I reached out to coach (Sumner) and they responded back and I went on a visit.  The campus, it’s small which is what I’m used to having gone to Springfield.  Everyone knows each other, so it’s a welcoming feeling going there, and everyone is so kind to each other, and the coaches are great,” Orbin described why Geneva was a perfect fit for him.

Orbin was part of the Springfield Tiger program that advanced to the DIV Regional Semi-finals in his junior season of 2018 and then followed it up with a Regional Finalist in his senior year.  In 2019, Orbin had a clutch base hit in the 10th inning of an exciting comeback win over South Range in the last regular-season game that year.

“They went up by eight in the first inning and then it went into extras.  That was the highlight of my senior year,” Orbin reflected on the South Range game.  “I wouldn’t have changed it for anything.  The chemistry we all had growing up and played baseball together so long, and we knew each other so well.  That’s what gave us such a successful season our senior year.”

Orbin has plans to play in a college league in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on May 26th provided the season is not being halted.  The league can push the league back in the summer, depending on the decisions from the Governor of South Carolina.

“Right now, I still have access to a batting cage so I can keep perfecting my swing and everything.  I’ve been doing home workouts, simple things since I don’t have access to a weight room right now.  And then playing catch with one of my friends,” Orbin explained his preparations for the summer league.

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