Starting pitcher Kyle Hentis discusses his baseball career and what his future may hold

Lindenwood+starter+Kyle+Hentis+reflects+in+the+dugout+during+a+practice+at+the+Lou+Brock+Sports+Complex.

Don Adams

Lindenwood starter Kyle Hentis reflects in the dugout during a practice at the Lou Brock Sports Complex.

Will Crawford, Reporter

Not every athlete knows what their number one sport is right away; Lindenwood’s starting pitcher Kyle Hentis is one of the exceptions to this.  

Hentis, a right handed pitcher for the Lindenwood Lions baseball team, knew that he was destined to be a baseball player.  

“I’ve played [baseball] forever, since I was two or three,” Hentis said. 

Hentis grew up in the small town of Red Bud, Illinois, which is about an hour and a half from Lindenwood. According to Hentis, he never had interest in any other sport. Baseball was the sport he loved playing the most, and was one he was truly good at.  

Being so close to Lindenwood, Hentis was quickly noticed by the Lions to go along with the connections he had as well. He was first noticed by playing for a traveling team in Illinois, where a  former pitching coach for Lindenwood who is now a scout for the New York Mets noticed Hentis, and eventually became close with him.  

“I had an old summer coach, who knew the pitching coach [at Lindenwood]. My summer coach told him, ‘hey this kid is doing pretty good’, and they came and watched me,” Hentis said.  

All players strive for the overall goal of a championship and according to Hentis, the Lions have a close group that can bring Lindenwood this glory for the first time on a national level. But to start, they must win a conference championship. According to Hentis, he knows the move to the Great Lakes Valley Conference may be a challenge as there are unfamiliar teams within the conference. However, with the challenges comes success, and Hentis hopes to be the leader for that success. 

According to Hentis, he’d love to be the ace for the Lions, but with great teammates he knows he doesn’t have to be the best out there on the field.  

“That’s the thing about our team, we have so many leaders and we don’t have to rely on the one guy, and peg them as ‘The Guy’,” Hentis said.  

One major league starter that Hentis tries to reflect his game off of is three-time Cy Young Award winner, Max Scherzer. Hentis reflects off his game just off of “Mad-Max” and his personality. 

“I try to blend that bulldog mentality, to dominate every pitch, and win every pitch,” Hentis said.  

According to Hentis, he is close to finishing up his exercise science degree but also has hopes of completing his dream of playing professional baseball once the college season concludes. But if this doesn’t work out, Hentis plans to stay with baseball and use his degree with the sport. 

Hentis takes the mound on Sunday’s for the Lions this season. Lions play this Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Lou Brock Sports Complex against Northwood University.