Rindfleisch wants players to ‘wear the L.E. with a lot of pride’

Jarett Rindfleisch (left) played for the Amarillo Sod Poodles, a Minor League Baseball affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. PROVIDED PHOTO

LIBERTY TWP. — Jarett Rindfleisch has a winning pedigree associated with his name. He will get the chance to lead his high school alma mater as a result.

Rindfleisch last week was named the new Lakota East baseball coach, following the departure of veteran Ray Hamilton — who recently stepped down after 25 seasons. 

“This was definitely on my radar,” said Rindfleisch, who was an assistant coach for the Thunderhawks the last two seasons.

“I had a couple other baseball offers, and there was a time crunch. The hiring process was short and sweet. When I applied and I was offered, it was a no-brainer for me and my family.”

Rindfleisch is the third head coach in the illustrious history of the Thunderhawks’ baseball program.

Lakota East won the state championship in 2011, when Rindfleisch was the starting catcher as a sophomore under Hamilton’s direction.

Rindfleisch graduated from Lakota East in 2013 as a first team All-Greater Miami Conference player. He went on to have an outstanding career at Ball State University, where he was a freshman All-American and three-time Mid-American Conference first team honoree.

Rindfleisch was drafted by the Miami Marlins in 2016 and played professional baseball for two other MLB teams — the Minnesota Twins and Arizona Diamondbacks.

“Growing up here and living here during my pro career, it seemed like a good time and a good fit,” he said. “We’ve got a young team, and they made a run last year. There are a lot of key pieces returning. Just a good group of kids.”

Lakota East this past season finished 13-5 in the Greater Miami Conference — second behind Division I state champion Mason — and 19-10 overall.

“These guys are going to have a lot of success. Having these young guys is huge — a lot of two-year players,” Rindfleisch said. “The magic happens with a good group of three-year guys. I look forward to coaching a bunch of good talent.”

Rindfleisch said he had shown interest on wanting to become the next Thunderhawks baseball coach if the opportunity would arise.

Now is that time.

“The biggest thing for me is all the failures and successes these kids have had, I’ve experienced those, too,” Rindfleisch said. “I’m looking to create an environment to grow. I encourage failure to grow, and I want those failures and growth to go beyond baseball. Before you go to the next level, you have to accept failure.”

Rindfleisch said he wants to get the Thunderhawks back on top of the GMC. Lakota East hasn’t captured a conference title since winning state in 2011.

“The one thing that doesn’t sit well with me is we haven’t won a GMC trophy since my sophomore year,” Rindfleisch said. “We’re going to put together a grinding schedule. If you win the GMC, then you have a chance to go all the way by putting in the work.”

Rindfleisch is the owner and operator of EVO Baseball. He is also a coach and recruiting coordinator for CBC Baseball (17U National).

“We’re going to wear the L.E. with a lot of pride,” Rindfleisch said. “The biggest effect Ray has left on me is that he gave me the message of what the logo means. There’s something different when you wear it on the hat and chest for many years. I look forward to carrying that on.”

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