A company mentality is an attribute Franklin Community High School junior Andrew Hartkorn brings to the baseball diamond every spring.
A junior left fielder, Hartkorn is the Grizzly Cubs’ No. 2 pitcher, potential right fielder and, if absolutely needed, emergency first baseman.
“Andrew just gets it. A phenomenal person and a hardworking kid,” second-year Franklin Coach Ryan Feyerabend said.
“Anything you need Andrew to do, and he does it. Ask him to play first and he’ll say, ‘I need a mitt and maybe a three-minute cram session.’”
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One of seven grandchildren to Ted Server, the former boys basketball coach and administrator at Franklin Community High School who passed away Feb. 22, the 6-foot-4, 180-pound Hartkorn has been the Cubs’ starting left fielder since the 2013 season-opener.
Hartkorn was a freshman then — a mature-for-his-age freshman, but a 15-year-old ninth-grader just the same.
“I remember having a lot of nerves, but I was excited, too,” Hartkorn remembers of the home game against Mid-State Conference rival Decatur Central.
“My freshman season I kind of struggled a little bit, last year I picked it up, and I’m very confident going into this season.”
Mostly utilized as the No. 2 hitter in Feyerabend’s batting order, Hartkorn posted respectable numbers during the Cubs’ 2014 season with a .233 average, 14 RBIs, 19 runs and five doubles. There were six outings in which Hartkorn produced at least two base hits and two where he had three RBI.
Hartkorn also pitched 24 2/3 innings for a 3-1 record, 23 strikeouts (compared to only seven walks) and a 4.54 earned-run average for Franklin, which is coming off a 14-11 season.
He’s behind senior Evan Giles both in the pitching rotation and at the plate. Giles, the Daily Journal’s Player of the Year in 2014, also leads off for the Grizzly Cubs.
“Right now I would consider myself more of an outfielder and a hitter,” said Hartkorn, the youngest of Ken and Jo Hartkorn’s three children, though not by much (twin sister, Megan, entered the world 68 minutes before he did).
“Being our team’s No. 2 hitter, my job is to move the leadoff hitter to the next base.”
The Grizzly Cubs scrimmaged against Roncalli at home on Tuesday but don’t open the 2015 regular season until hosting Columbus North on April 4. Franklin then plays home and away games with Decatur Central on April 7 and 8, respectively.
Hartkorn, a 3.8 grade-point average student who hopes to play baseball at the next level while majoring in engineering, looks forward to letting his bat, glove, work ethic and body language speak for him in the weeks ahead.
“I’ve been wanting to be a leader since my freshman year. Being vocal is not my thing as I’m more lead-by-example. The one thing I want our younger players to see is a leader that if I do it, they’ll do good, too,” he said.
Hartkorn also was a starting forward for the Franklin boys basketball team this past winter.
He finished the season as the Grizzly Cubs’ top rebounder (5.3 rpg) and second-leading scorer (9.4 ppg). Hartkorn’s finest hours statistically were 19 points in a 63-48 victory against Plainfield, eight rebounds against three different opponents and the four steals he contributed in an early-season loss to Seymour.
“Andrew is a versatile, multiposition player. He is quiet and steady,” Franklin coach Brad Dickey said. “He started every game and showed strong improvement.”
Different sport. Same dependability.
THE HARTKORN FILE
Name: Andrew Hartkorn
Family: Parents, Ken and Jo; sisters, Libby, 23, and Megan, 17
Favorite TV show: “SportsCenter”
Favorite food: Seafood
Favorite movie: “Lone Survivor”
Favorite athlete: LeBron James
Favorite team: Ohio State football/men’s basketball