Hodges enjoys success

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 9, 2004

GREENVILLE – A year after being tabbed as an assistant baseball coach at Pitt Community College, Brandon Hodges is still relishing that role.

As the team prepares for fall ball later this month, Hodges took a few moments to look back at the season the Bulldogs recently completed.

The Pitt Community College team posted a 39-16 record under veteran skipper Monte Little during the 2004 season, finishing third in Region X, only two games behind conference champion Louisburg.

&uot;I enjoyed being able to coach under Coach Little,&uot; Hodges said. &uot;Learning the game under him has been tremendous.

&uot;I’ve learned more about baseball than I ever thought I would,&uot; he continued. &uot;I played under Jeff Edwards in high school and he taught me a lot, but I have enjoyed learning under Coach Little, a Christian man, who teaches the right way to do things on and off the field of play.&uot;

The coach said the most difficult part of the season was learning the pace of the college game after spending his formative years as a coach at the high school and recreation levels.

&uot;The college game is a lot quicker,&uot; he said. &uot;I was able to coach about 30 games at third base this year and, where as in high school I would have three seconds to make a decision, I had less than half that. I enjoyed every minute of it.&uot;

Hodges’ main job for the Bulldogs was serving as pitching coach. In that role, he said there was a time of adjustment, but that things worked out well.

&uot;The pitching staff had a hard time adjusting to my ways,&uot; he said. &uot;When they started buying into what I was saying and doing what I asked, it turned out to be a great year.

&uot;Allen Letchworth came in and too a key leadership role for us and that made a lot of difference,&uot; he continued. &uot;He went 9-1 with an ERA around 1.89 which was a big help.&uot;

Letchworth will be heading to North Carolina State University next year where he is slated as a starter.

Turning his attention to this year, Hodges said Pitt had an outstanding recruiting class heading to Greenville.

&uot;Coach Little compares this class to the ones which came in during 1999 and 2000 when the Bulldogs won the Region X championship,&uot; he said. &uot;He believes this group is as good or better than those classes.&uot;

For his part, Hodges said he believed the 14 new pitchers would be a big help for Pitt while also pointing to a solid infield group that he called the best at the junior college level.

The Bulldogs will have a pair of locals on the squad as they welcome Hertford County High School’s Adam Baldwin and Manteo High School’s Nate Bernard to Greenville.

As far as his personal life, Hodges said the adjustment to Greenville has been good for him and his wife, Anna.

&uot;Greenville is a baseball town, so adjusting to living here has been pretty easy for me,&uot; he said. &uot;With my wife expecting our first son, this is a good environment for him to be raised in.&uot;