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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Senior Spotlight: Hayden Tsutsui

<ir="ltr">On Monday, Hayden Tsutsui ‘16 was named to the All-Midwest Region Team for a fourth straight year. His success on the baseball field has earned him the right to potentially be named the best baseball player in Carleton history. He has broken almost all major hitting records, won various awards, and has opened many eyes to the talent that he attains. According to Carleton Sports Information, “Among active NCAA players, Tsutsui’s career batting average (.438) ranks sixth. His 252 career hits ranks fourth among active D-III players while his 26 home runs rank fifth. Tsutsui’s career .498 on-base percentage and .703 slugging percentage not only rank first and second, respectively, on Carleton’s all-time leaderboards, but both figures also rank in the top 10 among the active players in Division III.”

Not only do his career statistics stack up nicely to the rest of D-III, but according to Carleton Sports Information, “Tsutsui now ranks first all-time in documented Carleton baseball history for batting average (.438), on-base percentage (.498), runs scored (156) , hits (252), doubles (56), home runs (26), and RBI (138). His career slugging percentage (.703) ranks second all-time and his 144 games played rank third.” The statistics are just examples of how prolific he was in a Knights uniform. When asked if he was proud of his accomplishments, he deflected the question to how fortunate he feels. “I think I am just lucky that I have been able to stay relatively healthy for the four years that I played here. I think that I was put in a situation, as a freshman, with the teammates around me, to be successful. I never thought I would be as successful as I was. So I guess I’m proud.”

Because of Tsutsui’s departure next year, it will be up to the rest of the team to make up for the loss of his production. Tsutsui, when asked who he believes has the chance and talent to step up next year and perform well for the Knights, asserted, “I know Willie will. I think Max Lane will. He has shown some things on the practice field that I haven’t seen. And of course guys like Willie and Luke, the seniors next year, are all going to provide something. I think that any of the guys can flourish.” It will be up to many of the underclassmen and returning players to get the Knights back to a winning season, after finishing 12-28 this spring.  

Tsutsui also gave positive feedback into the job that Coach Aaron Rushing has done at Carleton, and throughout Tsutsui’s career. He said, “Coach Rushing is one of the best coaches I have ever had. He knows everything that he needs to know about the game. I mean there were times when we had our differences, but at the end of the day, he is a great guy and a good coach. The program is in good hands.”  

Now that his Carleton career is over, Tsutsui has started to reminisce. When asked how it feels that his days playing for the Knights has ended, he said, “It is something that I was thinking about the entire year, the fact that this is going to be my last season. So when it happened, it was not going to be too much of a surprise. It was something I had been preparing for. It is not too big of a deal, I am just going on to the next thing in my life.” According to Tsutsui, the next chapter of his life “will be living in Chicago with Jack, who is also on the team.” Although he said he is going “to miss the program,” he is excited for the upcoming few years, living in Chicago and working in an economics related field.

Although Tsutsui plans to begin working after school ends, there is still a drive in him that wants to continue to play. It is a possibility. From his statistics alone, he definitely has the talent. Unfortunately, many Carleton athletes are not given the opportunity to play their sport after school. Coming from a small school in Minnesota, where athletics achievements are not as recognized, it is hard to get noticed by professional scouts. Therefore, it seems difficult for Tsutsui to pursue playing professionally. Hopefully he is able to find an opportunity.

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