Dedication on the diamond: Baseball is a passion for former Lyle-Pacelli standout

Published 8:48 pm Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Jordan Hart has been playing baseball at a high level for the better part of the last five months and he’s having the time of his life.

Hart, a former Lyle-Pacelli standout, played in 57 games for Division II Minnesota State University in the spring and has logged in 41 games this summer for the Rochester Honkers, who play in the Northwoods League. Hart has tallied a total of 355 at bats in those contests.

Hart used to watch the Honkers from the stands so he was pumped to get an opportunity to play for them. He began this summer as a temporary player for the Honkers and he eventually landed himself a full-time spot on the team.

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“I knew I only had a certain amount of time to make the roster. I was pretty excited when they told me I made the team,” Hart said. “It’s a great atmosphere and it’s a great fan base. It’s close enough to home where I’ve had a lot of family and friends come out and watch me play.”

Former Lyle-Pacelli standout Jordan Hart positions himself to catch a fly ball for the Rochester Honkers this summer. Photo by Dave Tester

Hart had a big season for the Mavericks as he was second on the team with a batting average of .356 to go along with 12 home runs, three triples, 12 doubles and 49 RBIs. For the Honkers, he is hitting .193 with seven homers, two triples, five doubles and 19 RBIs.

Hart said the pitching in the Northwoods League can be challenging as most hurlers throw in the 80s and 90s and they also have off speed pitches to keep hitters on their toes.

“It’s a big change. It’s helped me establish my timing with my footing and when to swing,” Hart said. “I’ve learned that I don’t need to swing 100 percent all of the time. I can swing 80 percent and let the pitcher provide the power.”

Hart’s baseball marathon began back in late February with the Mavericks and he still has 10 games left with the Honkers before he can get a little rest before he begins preparing for his junior season at MSU.

“It’s been a grind this whole time,” Hart said. “Your time off is from after the game until 3 p.m. the next day and then you go back out and do it all again.”

With two years left in his college baseball career, Hart is trying improve as much as he can on a daily basis. He’d like to have a chance to continue playing after college.

“I’m going to play my heart out and I want to have a good year at Mankato next year to help our senior class finish strong,” Hart said. “I’m going to just play the game and let everything come to me. I’m hoping to have a chance to play at the next level.”