Rivalry between Whitehall brothers sees final inning

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 Messenger photos by John Matuszak

Brothers and Whitehall graduates Aaron Hutchison, a catcher for Otterbein University’s baseball team, and Ryan Hutchison, batting for Capital University, play their last game against each other April 26 at Clowson Field. They are graduates of Whitehall Yearling High School, Aaron having graduated in 2003 and Ryan the year after.

 
Father Dave Hutchison proudly displays his dual loyalties, with an Otterbein cap and a Capital t-shirt at the April 26 double-header, which was swept by Otterbein.

Sibling rivalry can sometimes be a headache for parents, especially when their children are close in age.  

Then they eventually grow up and move away, or go in different directions to college. But this doesn’t always mean the end of the rivalry,  as Whitehall residents Patty and Dave Hutchison have learned.  

Their sons, Aaron and Ryan, have continued to compete while playing baseball for Otterbein and Capital universities, respectively.

The young men are only one year apart in age, and kept their folks busy by playing multiple sports growing up.  

The family stayed busy running to practices and sporting events, and most of the time the boys were on the same team.

Ryan graduated from Whitehall Yearling High School in 2003 and Aaron graduated in 2004, and both continued on to play college baseball.  

Ryan attended one year at Rio Grande College  in southwest Ohio.  However, the small school and small town just were not a good fit.  So he transferred to Capital University in Bexley.  

Aaron chose Otterbein University in Westerville.  Over the past four years they have played college ball against each other 11 times, and only two of those games were won by Capital.  

Ryan offered that his brother’s school has a much better baseball program.

While growing up in Whitehall, they both played tee ball and baseball in the summer recreation programs.  

Between ages 13 and 15 Ryan was on the Columbus Sharks traveling team.    The second baseman then played for American Legion three years during high school.  In high school he played four years of baseball and basketball, two years of golf and one year of football, receiving ten varsity letters.

 
 Messenger photo by Dianne Garrett

Whitehall Yearling High School graduates, Aaron Hutchison and Ryan Hutchison with their dad, Dave Hutchison. Aaron is a senior at Otterbein University and Ryan is a fifth-year senior at Capital University.  Both will be graduating this month.  The brothers played their final college baseball game against each other on April 27.  Otterbein won both games.

Aaron wrestled for four years, played three years of soccer and baseball, and one year of football and received nine varsity letters. He also played alongside his brother on the American Legion team.    

Both will graduate this month with degrees in business management.  

Ryan plans to take a little time off this summer, eventually working part-time.  Even though he is open to any type of business, he would love to be able to work for a sports organization.  He is excited about managing and working with people, no matter where he lands.

Aaron works for Dick’s Sporting Goods in Dublin in the baseball department.  He loves helping parents choose the right equipment for their kids.  

With all his sports experience he said that he feels like he is also doing a service, a little giving back to community.  

"It’s nice meeting the kids, and talking with them and their parents," shared Aaron.  He, too, would love to work for a professional sports organization.

As their college days come to a close, they played one last game for their schools against each other April 26.  Otterbein won both games of the double-header.  

Aaron is a catcher, and joked with his brother, "I gave you every opportunity to steal home."  

He then noted that Ryan, who did eventually score in the first game, is hesitant when it comes to stealing bases.

 

Doting Dad

You could say that their dad, Dave, throws himself into the games, and along with his wife, are Ryan and Aaron’s biggest fans.  

Keeping up with two athletes at two separate colleges is a task in itself, often making them go in two different directions so one parent is always at a game.  

Over the years, when his sons were playing against each other, Dave would wear shirts and hats from each school.  He would switch hats for whoever was at bat.  

If it’s a double header, like the final match-up, he changes shirts between games to make sure he gives equal representation.

 
Messenger photo by John Matuszak

Capital University second-baseman Ryan Hutchison gets ready to throw out a base-runner at first.

He is a former baseball coach and assistant football coach at Whitehall, where he still teaches OWA students, who go to school a half-day and learn in the work force a half-day.

He and Patty are proud of their sons, and have one more baseball player in the family.  Their youngest son, Taylor, is 13 and a freshman at Whitehall-Yearling.

 

The family has received much support from extended family and friends.  At the April 26 game, Dave cooked brats for about 45 friends and family.  

 

Ryan praised his Whitehall  coach, Kip Kane, for always taking a personal interest in his athletes.  

"I appreciate the time he took with us to offer positive influence and motivation," Ryan said.  "They are lessons I will take with me throughout my life that will be appropriate for many situations.  Being an athlete I’ve learned much about diversity and challenge that you can’t get from a book."

Mr. Hutchison said that he has had a great time, and he pointed out that Whitehall graduate, John LaCorte, son of Scott and Tammy LaCorte, is also a freshman pitcher at Otterbein this year.  

He said that he has not only enjoyed the time with his own sons, but also getting to know so many other parents and their families over the years.  

He looks forward to doing it all again when Taylor enters college.

 

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