Chuck Hill’s bat and speed served him well while being the Sun Fish’s lead-off hitter and helping them to the No. 1 seed in Show-Me Summer Collegiate League's regular-season play.
Hill was even able to show off his strong right arm in the Sun Fish’s 12-2 win versus the Route 66 Stars on Tuesday in the Show-Me championship game.
Hill contributed a bunt-single and perhaps most telling, threw out a runner trying to advance from first to third.
The Ozark grad ended his junior season at College of the Ozarks with soreness in his right arm and shoulder.
“It was typical shoulder tendinitis. I had a little arm pain. No operations or anything, I'm thankful for that,” Hill said. “I was advised not to throw this summer, so (the Sun Fish) stuck me at first to limit the throws. First base was new to me. It was fun.
“The arm feels good,” he added. “ think I'll be ready come spring time.”
Hill is counting on being able to be behind the plate or in the outfield his senior season at C of O.
“I love the field. I'm not a prototypical DH, anyway,” he said.
The Sun Fish’s championship and quick-forming bonds reminded Hill of his C of O teammates and their success.
“It’s kind of a similar team dynamic as far as the guys getting along. No egos conflicting with anybody,” Hill said. “It was fun getting to know these guys. Everyone gets along. Everyone is pretty easy-going and we all had the same goal in mind. If you get along and everyone is headed in the same direction, that really helps.
“We had a great summer,” he added. “We knew we had the talent and we came together at the end.”
The Sun Fish rode the pitching of Tokyo native Kenji Kajita and the hitting of Andrew Hart to its whipping of the Stars. Kajita, who plays his college ball at Grinnell (Iowa) threw six innings of one-run ball and Hart had three of the winners' 16 hits
This was Hill’s second time around in Show-Me play. Most of the Sun Fish’s players were first-year Show Me players and this was the inaugural season for the Sun Fish.
“Going out with a win is always what you want and makes saying good-bye to everybody a little sweeter,” Hill said.