The Sinclair Tartan Pride baseball team, fresh from their third OCCAC championship in a row, and ninth title in eleven years is quickly becoming what could theoretically be considered a dynasty.
The team’s success, an oft-forgotten and overlooked mainstay in Sinclair’s storied athletics (the women’s softball team made their first World Series appearance this year, and coach, Steve Beachler, was named District I coach of the year) is the definition of consistency.
Stephen Dintaman, coach of the Tartan men’s team, is on his 12th season as a head coach after spending three years as an assistant. Of the team’s success he had this to say:
“It starts with our coaching staff. We have been together for a long time and that helps with consistency. Next Fall, Tom Bell will be starting his 17th season, Mike Parr his 11th, Matt Richer is 4th, and Terry Bell is 3rd. We have been able to identify some really talented players in the recruiting process. Each year our class gets better and better and some of the top players in this region now choose Sinclair over other schools. We have players turn down Division I offers to attend Sinclair and play in our program.”
That expansive pool of talent has lead to a great number of the players receiving All-Conference honors. Mike Sears, AJ Peter, Drake Bauer, Jeremiah Clarke, Brandon DeWitt and Alex Jacobs all earned OCCAC First-Team honors, and Matt Meyer and Alex Theis all earned OCCAC Second-Team honors.
“Coach Parr does a great job as our recruiting coordinator in finding the right type of players for our program,” said Dintaman, complimenting Asst. Coach Mike Parr. “Then when they get here, our number one focus is player development. We give our guys every opportunity to get better and when they get better and develop their game, we get the outcomes we desire which is winning championships.”
Additionally, infielder Mike Sears won Player of the Year Honors, as well as Freshman of the Year.
“Mike is extremely talented and one of the hardest workers in our program.” Said Dintaman. “Not only was he dominant on the field but he was also on the Academic All-Conference Team. He broke the single season homerun record and will probably break the majority of our offensive records next season. He leads by example and is someone that we are very excited about coaching again next season.”
Though the team’s season ended at the hands of rival Cuyahoga Community College out of the Cleveland metro, in a one-point loss, the team has a lot to be proud of and a lot to look forward to.
The team itself carried a 100 percent graduation rate, a feat that they’ve accomplished for a third consecutive time. The 2018-2019 team set the record for the highest GPA in the program’s history at 3.26. Twenty-five of the players earned a 3.0 or above, fifteen of which were on the Dean’s List.
Of the team’s future, Coach Dintaman had this to say:
“At our level, you just reload every year and look to make a run. Our team goals are set in stone. Win the Conference, Win the Regional, Win A National Championship (2 World Series Appearances, finished 3rd and two wins away from a National Title in 2016). We have another strong class coming in, can’t wait to get started in the fall.”