WEST JEFFERSON — Senior baseball standout Hogan “Turtle” Windish will soon be a part of the UNC-Greensboro baseball program after signing his National Letter of Intent on Monday at Ashe County High School.
For Windish, several things stuck out to him that made UNC-Greensboro the place he wants to be after his Husky career comes to an end this spring.
“I was really focused on what was closest to home and where I had the best chance of growing as a player. I really enjoyed meeting the coaches and I thought they had a lot to offer,” said Windish.
Off the field, Windish said that UNC-G offering a kinesiology program also played a big role in his decision to become a Spartan.
In his previous two seasons on the Husky varsity squad, Windish has been one of the most reliable hitters and fielders on the team.
In 2015, Windish finished his sophomore year leading the team with a .429 batting average, second on the team with 19 runs scores and recorded the most stolen bases on the year with eight.
Last season, Windish bumped his average up to a sizzling .480, once again the best among all Husky batters. The junior had two homers, five doubles and a triple in 18 games. He added nine stolen bases without being thrown out a single time.
Windish added to his versatility last season by pitching 34 innings with a 2-3 record and a 1.65 ERA. He struck out 38 batters and walked only seven.
For head coach Mike Windish, it was a special moment for him seeing his son and one of his best players in the program be able to continue his career beyond the high school level.
“It has been really cool to see young players go on and play at the next level and I’ve had the opportunity to see lots of different players go on and do that, but this one is mine and his mom’s. We’ve known for a long time that he could do that, out of all the players I’ve coached, he’s probably the hardest worker I’ve ever seen and he deserves it,” said Coach Windish. “He gets to go play at a great college that beat the national championship team last year so he gets to go play at a place like that where hopefully, as he said, he gets to grow.”
For both father and son, the UNC-Greensboro coaching staff, led by head coach Link Jarrett, made a big impact on Turtle’s decision to sign there.
“Link Jarrett, coach (Jerry) Edwards, coach (Joey) Holcomb and coach (Sean) Guite, they run a phenomenal program and we couldn’t be happier. We think that’s the perfect place for him,” said Coach Windish.
Turtle chose UNC-Greensboro over UNC-Pembroke and NC Central.
“I’m really proud of him, he’s worked hard, he started playing baseball at four years old and he’s worked hard at it ever since. To see him be able to go to the next level, we’re proud of him,” said Michelle Windish, Turtle’s mother.
For the Windish family, there still remains a little business to take care of at Ashe County High School.
“As a team I hope that we are conference champs and personally, I’d like to be conference player of the year,” said Turtle.
“We are looking forward to a great year in baseball. We’ll have a young team again with only four seniors and the rest will be juniors and sophomores I’m sure but we also have a lot of kids coming into the freshman class too,” said Coach Windish. “Hopefully we’ll get to keep pushing some players out to go on to the next level and be able to come back and share that with our camps and our younger players in this county. I think it’s just a great thing all around.”
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-489-3062.