FORT WORTH -- Baylor second baseman Joey Hainsfurther comes from a baseball family, but he's gotten to place that he can call his own.
His father played at Centenary and his two uncles played at LSU, but none had ever played in an NCAA Tournament. But Hainsfurther, a Highland Park grad, enjoyed a family first as a freshman.
And he's hoping for a better showing this year.
“Being a freshman, I was just following everybody and trying to figure it out and get my feet wet,” Hainsfurther said of his 2-for-11 showing during the Bears' three-game stay in the Baton Rouge Regional last year. “We ended up having a good year, but we didn’t do quite as well as we would’ve liked with the talent we had.
"But this year has just been awesome. ... We don’t have near the talent we did, but the chemistry we have going for us right now is unbelievable.”
While regionals can be very stressful for a lower-seeded team, Hainsfurther said he won’t be putting more pressure on himself.
“I think there’s definitely a lot of pressure on trying to win that first game,” said Hainsfurther, who has a .341 batting average with 47 RBIs. “I mean, there’s some pressure on me trying to help the team out, but up and down the lineup, if somebody’s not on one day, there are guys that are going to pick us up. That’s what has helped us this year.”
Hainsfurther, who will have family and friends supporting him at the Fort Worth Regional this weekend, grew up in a baseball culture.
“My dad is just having a blast watching me play college baseball," Hainsfurther said. "Growing up in that college baseball atmosphere has been awesome, so it’s been fun to carry on that tradition.”