The Hoptown Hoppers had more than enough players to make up the roster to start the Ohio Valley League season, but the staff felt the need to add a couple more pieces.
The two latest additions to the team, Santrel Farmer and Ben Huber, have provided help for the Hoppers team in unique ways. Huber filling a needed void and Farmer comfortably slotting into the leadoff spot, a place he is very familiar with.
"I've been a leadoff ever since I was a little kid," Farmer said. "When I got put into the leadoff spot for the Hoppers I felt like it was my job to take in that role and do the best I can with every at-bat that I get ... I just hope the ball keeps rolling for me and I'm just going to keep working hard."
Huber is filling a need on first base and on the mound and said he wouldn't be playing summer baseball had Hoptown not come calling.
"My friend from high school, I've played with since I was little -- he actually came up here last year -- his older brother coached here," Huber said. "I guess they had me as a contact. Ted (Jatczak) called me saying they needed a pitcher and someone to fill in at first base, then coach Crawford called me and gave me the rundown. That following Monday, I came up and was ready to come play.
"It feels a lot better to play summer ball because I was just sitting at home hitting on my own. This is a lot more productive. Getting live at-bats against decent pitching too."
Farmer said he had some jitters when he found out he was coming, but added it was a pretty seamless transition when he arrived in Hopkinsville for the season.
"At first I was kind of nervous -- joining a new team is kind of hard," Farmer said. "Once I got in, I just kept the same mindset. That's to go out there and give the game everything I had and just focusing on getting better for my next season at Indiana University Southeast. I want that championship ring just like everyone else and I feel like this team is helping me and training me to be the guy that I want to be in the future."
Now a few weeks since arriving to play, the two players have become acclimated to the area and both had teammates that helped them get adjusted quickly.
For Farmer, it was Cameron Hill, and for Huber, it was now former Hopper and Hopkinsville native Wyatt Stevenson.
"Getting to know everybody, that's fun," Farmer said. "I've got to give a shoutout to my boy Cameron Hill. He took me in under his wing as soon as I got here. He's really showed me the ropes of the team and everything."
"He kind of gave me the rundown of everything because he's been around since he was little," Huber said. "Everybody has been nice."
The two have helped Hoptown get to the top of the OVL and are wanting to help bring the Hoppers another league title.
"It's like having another team," Huber said. "We're all a bunch of young guys too so it's kind of fun. We're really putting a good team together and getting a lot of wins."