05/28/2018 12:55 PM
A native of Cumberland, Rhode Island, Jonathan Lynch is back with the Mustangs for his third season. Lynch plays college baseball for Salve Regina University.
Through a connection from an old summer league coach he was given the opportunity to come pitch for the Mustangs in 2016. When he arrived in St. Joseph it immediately felt like home.
“I really like how close nit it is,” Lynch said. “There are a lot of people in this city, but everyone comes together for baseball games, which is awesome. It is kind of similar to my hometown where a lot of people know a lot of people and it's very hospitable.”
Apart from the baseball it is the relationships formed with community members and coaches that leave a lasting impression.
The Mustangs are truly a community operation. When the players arrive they rely on volunteers from all over the city to provide a home away from home allowing them to focus on their craft.
“My host family Tim and Leanne Davis, they’re awesome people. They will literally do anything for you,” he said. “The coaching staff, Matt Johnson and Johnny Coy along with the rest of the staff are awesome and the environment is awesome out there, I love it.”
Playing in front of capacity crowds at Phil Welch Stadium, Lynch marvels at the atmosphere that St. Joe provides game in and game out.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “It’s a blessing and a curse. If you do really well they applaud you and if you don't do so well they will boo you, but it is what it is. I love how energetic they are. I love how they love baseball, and it's an awesome crowd. Any city that can bring 5,000 people into a stadium they're doing something right.”
After Lynch is done striking out opponents on the mound he turns his focus to his life after baseball. An administration of justice major, Lynch did his part to make the city a safer place last summer taking an internship with the Saint Joseph Police Department.
“I did some ride-alongs,” he said. “I would ask the police officers ‘Why did you do this?’ ‘Why did you assess the situation this way?’ I worked with dispatchers, worked with the booking department; I really didn't have to do busy work or office work. It was awesome. They helped me learn a lot.”
Whether it’s a lunch-break meal at the police station or following a big win over an opponent, Lynch enjoys exploring the wide variety of restaurants he sees around town from Boudreaux's to BBQ. However, he has yet to find a restaurant that rivals a good-home-cooked meal.
“I love all the food out there it is awesome,” Lynch said. “The barbecue is insane, but the best barbecue is my host father Tim, Tim Davis, he’s awesome at cooking.”
On the diamond Lynch is coming off of a season where he was named a MINK League All-Star. He is a veteran on the team and views his role much different than he did as a first year player.
“Definitely leadership, teach some of the guys who haven't been here what the coaches expect,” he said. “Of course I want to pitch well and provide some good mental support, good physical support, and obviously win another championship.”
Experiencing a championship is a rare feeling. Lynch earned that last year and has the blueprint to add another one to his resume.
“We won a bunch of championships over the past ten years and you know we just got to play real good baseball,” Lynch said. “Come to the field with a lot of energy and just show the rest of the league we’re better than anyone else.”