Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson Grad Jake Hatch commits to Div. I Manhattan College

Emerson alumni and infielder Jake Hatch ’23 (#15) celebrates after scoring a run against MIT on April 29. Courtesy of Anna Schoenmann

Recent graduate and infielder Jake Hatch traded Beantown for the Big Apple, announcing his commitment to the Div. I Manhattan College Jaspers on Saturday, July 22.

Hatch decided that graduate school would give him opportunities to pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree and open doors to other career paths.

“If I continue to pursue working in sports or a different field in the entertainment industry—such as the music industry—I feel that it will allow me to work more behind the scenes in these industries, which seemed like an appealing career-building option,” Hatch said.

“Continuing to play baseball and making the jump in competition to the Division 1 level will hopefully allow me to take that next step towards playing some sort of professional baseball, whether that’s independent ball or overseas,” he added.

Hatch’s decision is part of a recent trend of transfers with the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the shortened 2019-20 athletic season—when Hatch was a freshman—college athletes were granted an extra year of eligibility and up to six years to complete a four-year playing career, according to NCSA Recruiting.

Last year, 73 percent of Div. III athletes ended up at a Div. I institution, according to data obtained by the NCAA Transfer Portal dashboard. Last summer was also the optimal period to enter the portal, as roughly 1,600 athletes did so between May and June of 2022.

In an Instagram post announcing his commitment, Hatch called Emerson “the best home I could’ve asked for in the past 4 years” and added, “None of this would’ve been possible without all of my teammates and coaches being there every step of the way.”

Head Coach Nick Vennochi touched on the impact Hatch had during his four years as a Lion.

“Jake has been a true leader and testament for hard work,” Vennochi said. “He always put the team first and always pushed himself and his teammates to work hard and to be selfless. He was an example for everyone to follow.”

Vennochi also mentioned two fond memories of Hatch: his first career home-run and extra motivation for him following a challenging junior year.

“[His first home run] was an 0-2 off speed pitch in Florida his freshmen year,” he said. “He had been [at] zero for the season to that point and I was considering sitting him, actually during that at bat. That home run showed his potential and was the consummation of a lot of hard work, mentally and physically.”

Vennochi pointed out that he sat Hatch during his junior year “because he struggled so much in conference.”

“He was chasing off-speed [pitches] in the dirt,” he added. “That whole experience propelled him to put as much time and effort into his senior year, and man did it pay off. His numbers last year speak for themselves.”

They do, indeed.

Although Hatch racked up a total of 62 runs batted in and 19 homers in four years, last season was his best one by far. He raked in a career-best 11 dingers his senior year, setting the single-season record for the purple and gold during a historic year for Emerson Baseball. He also finished his final year with a batting average of .388 and an on-base percentage of .472—both career-highs. As for his conference play, Hatch had top-five finishes in the home-run (eight) and batting average (.393) departments.

Hatch reflects on his time as a Lion with fondness, whether it’s going through his pregame routines or talking with former teammates and coaches.

“We always talked about the family aspect of the program, but I think it really shows this summer,” he said. “I just feel incredibly grateful for the relationships I got to build at Emerson, and I’m gonna cherish those guys and the time we spent together for the rest of my life. And I know I’m gonna see and talk to them as much as I can in the future.”

As for his own memories with the program, Hatch noted various constants over the course of his four years, as well as recent moments on the road to history.

“[Specific memories include] rounding the bases with [senior co-captains] Matt [Nachamie] and Thai [Morgan] en route to beating MIT, beating Babson, the bus rides, playing ‘Take Over Your Trap’ after wins, the Florida trips, the list goes on and on,” Hatch said. “And whenever I need the pick-me-up, I find myself looking at pictures Anna Banana [team photographer Anna Schoenmann] took of us or the videos from the season: definitely gonna be scrolling through the camera roll a lot next year.”

Hatch mentioned how he grew through the relationships he formed with other members of the Emerson baseball family.

“I think just realizing how much great relationships can impact you positively and get you through tough times especially in the context of a sport,” he said. “I think in a lot of ways I wasn’t super ready to go to college when I first got to Emerson and I was homesick a lot early in my time there. I found though as I kept building the relationships with the guys eventually Emerson became home for me and there really was no place I would’ve rather been.”

And when it comes to baseball, Hatch attributes his growth as a player to never taking anything for granted.

“[I appreciate] the everyday growth through the ups and downs and sayings like ‘Ride the Wave’ from Coach V,” he said. 

“Despite all the adversity—especially through the Covid times—the constant emphasis from the coaching staff that we were fortunate to have a place to play every day and to not take for granted the opportunity to get better,” Hatch added. “Even if we had to travel all across Eastern Mass to play, or practice during specific windows at Rotch or in [Piano Row], just knowing there’s always some way to get better.” 

The attitude of gratitude is a key lesson that Hatch will bring with him to the Bronx.

“Regardless of what comes next for me with baseball, I know it can end at any second,” Hatch said. “Going into a new school and not taking any opportunity for granted is something that the staff and players at Emerson really instilled in me.”

Vennochi has a simple message for Hatch as he embarks on this new journey.

He had to put himself first during the recruitment process, and find the right fit for him,” Vennochi said. “And now, it’s just about being him, not trying to do too much, and keeping his right-center approach.

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About the Contributor
Jordan Pagkalinawan
Jordan Pagkalinawan, Managing Editor
Jordan Pagkalinawan (he/him) hails from Burbank, California, and is the Beacon’s Managing Editor for news and sports. A junior journalism student with a minor in Sports Communication, Jordan previously served as the Kasteel Well Bureau Chief, sports editor, and staff writer. Outside of Emerson, he has interned with the CBS Sports Editorial team and currently writes for Last Word on Sports and YRMedia. When Jordan isn’t working on a story, you will find him either playing basketball, listening to music, reading multiple books, or buying a cup of coffee.

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