Events tend to happen right on time for some people. Everything from the opportunities and places that are experienced, to the people with whom one interacts. Many times the transpiring of moments be seen in retrospect as being exactly how it was supposed to be.
After hearing Hamilton Andrews, a 2020 outfielder out of Broughton High School in Raleigh, NC, tell his story, it is easy to make that connection for the right-handed hitter. Everything seems to fit together in his journey that has allowed him to be a committed player to North Carolina Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount, NC.
Early was the impact of his relationship with his high school coach, Jere Morton. Then connecting to the Dirtbags, with whom he has played since a rising sophomore. That association brings Hamilton to his most recent impactful moment – meeting his coach for this 2019 fall, Axel Smith.
Andrews says, “He came in this fall and said he’d mold us. We’ve lost twice since.”
Axel saw the potential in Hamilton, saying “First day right in front of everyone I told him I would ride him because I think he can be special. And the fire was lit!”
And with the “fire lit” the 5’8” outfielder soon began to produce the results he came to the Dirtbags to get. On how he became a member of the organization, Andrews recounted he had played with someone who was a Dirtbag and they had positive things to say. That along with being intrigued by the unique uniforms led him to a tryout.
But the jumps in his game happened because of the hard work and the coaching advice he’s received, clearly stating, “The only reason I’m in this position (as a college commit) is because of the Dirtbags. The only thing they want is for us to get better.”
The growth, according to Andrews, has been applied to many areas of his game. And like so many that develop in the sport, it didn’t just happen all at once but was a process. While Hamilton admits he was at first intimidated when he joined the Dirtbags and tried to be a player he was not,the journey was learning to “overcome fears and play as strong as possible.”
That can best be exampled by what he’s done at the plate. Andrews says he once was the player who always tried to hit the ball as far has he could. Now he realizes his speed allows him to take a different approach. As a 6.6 runner (in the 60 yard dash), he simply tries to put the ball in play and let’s his legs move him around the bases by stealing bags.
Always one to hustle and go all out, Hamilton says he makes it a point to run on and off the field each inning. And his uniform is often the dirtiest in the dugout. It’s these types of characteristics along with the skills of the game he feels have been brought out in him from a variety of impactful events and people.
But none have been as vital as the Dirtbags, saying, “I realized they are here to help me and we bonded. The coaching camps have helped too. Always helping with fundamentals and my swing – even how to throw better.”
Because the style of play he takes on the diamond, Andrews started to get some attention. Again, the theme of opportunity leading to opportunity factored again as his Dirtbags team played on the campus of NCWC during an Impact Baseball event.
This led to contact with the school’s baseball coaches, and as one thing leads to another, he attended a camp to get to know the Battling Bishops even better. Hamilton ability to make connections with the staff, the culture of the school and the direction of the program all seemed to lead him to make the commitment to continue his playing and academic pursuits at the Division III institution.
But the pieces are still being put in place and the work isn’t done to make himself an even better player. The off-season brings more opportunity where he plans to get stronger and, yes, even faster. He will continue to work on his game and plans to keep taking those 300 cuts a day on a tee as directed by Axel Smith.
Assuredly, more opportunities are in the works for Hamilton Andrews and he’s learned that they come as a result of taking advantage of the opportunities right in fron of you. And with his attitude he won’t miss them because he’s seen the results in his own game.