By Brandon Speck
BALDWYN – Baldwyn senior Tucker Jenkins has something in common with the alt-country crooner John Anderson.
They’re both “Just a’ Swingin.”
Jenkins has found a hard-to-find and healthy balance between swinging a golf club for the four-time defending Class 2A champ Bearcats and swinging a big stick for the baseball Bearcats, who are also in the mix for a 2A run.
On the field, he’s batting .474 with a home run and 14 RBIs. His fielding percentage is a sparkling .947. He made a pair of Top 10-worthy plays in Tuesday’s win against Mantachie, one a backhanded stop before a perfect throw for an out at second.
“He’s special,” Baldwyn baseball coach Shannon Smith said. “I’ve never seen a golfer who can go be excellent in golf, shoot a 71, then go 3-for-3 at the plate. He’s done that. That just lets you know what kind of athlete he is to be able to translate that golf swing and come back on the field.
“Defensively, he’s one of the best shortstops in the area. I don’t know one better.”
There is also a balance to find between practices for two sports that play at the same time. Baseball is typically Tuesday and Friday and on Wednesday’s he may slip out of practice early to hit a round. If the two sports collide, he goes to the division baseball games.
“Sometimes I might slip out at 3 and go play nine or go hit a few balls,” Jenkins said. “I’ve done it my whole life. If anything, it hurts golf, because of the weight difference and hip rotation, but it’s not too bad.”
Last week, he went 3-for-3 in a win against East Union, then shot a 71 at tough Old Waverly.
He’s done both since the seventh grade. His future plans are TBD. He has a standing offer to play baseball at Northeast or he may try and walk on at either sport at Mississippi State.
“It’s fun to win. We’ve done it four straight years. We’re lucky to have an abundance of good golfers at such a small school,” Jenkins said.
This season, he and both teams could end his career on very high notes.