Following a junior year slump, the standout centerfielder studied abroad in Barcelona, returning to play the best baseball of his career
By Tanner Acebo
The Norwich Record | Fall 2019
Kevin Lynch ’19 will likely rank among the best outfielders in Norwich baseball history. But if it weren’t for a semester abroad in Spain during the fall of his senior year, his Norwich career could have ended much differently.
As a rook, Lynch earned his spot as the Cadets’ starting centerfielder. The Randolph, Massachusetts, native played in all 35 games that season, earning third-team all-conference honors. He matched that feat his sophomore year, leading his team with 39 hits while playing in nearly every game.
But Lynch hit a rough patch his junior year. Logging career lows in hits and runs scored, Lynch attributed the slump to “the hardest and most jam-packed (year) of my collegiate career.”
It was a perfect storm of challenging academics, athletics and leadership commitments in the Corps of Cadets and Student Government Association. Lynch made his way through. But as a player, he knew he needed to take a step back and reevaluate his priorities.
“Coming back from Spain made me want to give even more — both in the classroom and on the field.”
— Kevin Lynch ’19, Norwich centerfielder
Last fall, he was able to get that fresh perspective as a study abroad student in Barcelona, Spain.
“I was able to take my mind off a lot of things (t)here,” he says.
It didn’t hurt, either, that while it was snowing in Vermont, he could play soccer or hang out on a beach with friends after classes.
“It was a perfect time to get away,” he says.
The experience rejuvenated him, both as a student and as a player.
“Coming back from Spain made me want to give even more — both in the classroom and on the field,” he says.
Head Baseball Coach Frank Pecora noticed the change in Lynch nearly the instant he returned to campus. “He missed our fall season to study abroad,” Pecora says, “and I could just tell that he wanted very much to be a part of the program again.”
Lynch showed that desire earlier this spring during his final season as a Cadet outfielder. He led the team in nearly every offensive statistic: hits, runs, doubles, triples, RBIs, walks, stolen bases, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and plate appearances. He also played in every game, all 31 of them.
Lynch’s standout season performance also earned him second-team All-GNAC honors and his second cameo on the conference all-defensive team. With graduation now behind him, Lynch is testing his leadership mettle as a 2nd Lt. in the Army. There, he’s poised once again to take advantage of new horizons and a fresh perspective.
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