FORT BRANCH -- A sectional championship eluded Cody Hupp, but the recent Gibson Southern graduate hopes he the bricks he placed within the program will lead to future championships.

The 2019 Daily Clarion Player of the Year was the constant force for the Titans this season on a team on started five freshman at seasons end.

Hupp clubbed an area-best seven home runs and 23 RBI's, while also leading the Titans with a .358 batting average.

The left-handed power hitter attributes his success at the plate due to already knowing where he would be playing the next four seasons.

In advance of the Titans spring season, Hupp singed his National Letter of Intent to continue his academic and career on the diamond at Spalding University -- an NCAA Division III program located in Louisville, KY.

"Once I signed it was like the monkey was lifted off my back," Hupp said. "I was able to just go out there this season and play more relaxed and have fun playing the game I love."

As good of a season the Titan player had at the plate, it was not always easy for him during his four seasons in the Gibson Southern uniform.

"I dressed for the varsity my freshman year but did not get to play much," he explained. "And after we graduated 10 players that year I was moved to varsity starter for my sophomore year but I kind of struggled then as well."

The lessons learned during those struggles led to a .341 average at the plate with 14 extra base hits and 17 runs driven in during his junior campaign.

"I really just learned how to be a varsity hitter," Hupp said of what he learned from his sophomore year. "That season I learned you will get a pitch to hit every time if you just learn to be patient at the plate."

Hupp grew up with a bat in his hands. The slugger started playing the game when he was just over three years old while playing in Heltonville.

His game started to evolve six years later when he made the cut for a travel team.

"When I was nine, I tried out for the Southern Indiana Bulls and it was a lot of fun," he said.

Hupp mentioned the sport is humbling, which also makes it so great.

"It's really not like any other sport," he said. "It's basically a game of failure...you can fail and still be good. Players who get a hit just 30 percent of the time still make it to the hall of fame.

"It's just something that I fell in love with at an early age. I love watching the game and love playing the game."

Besides being a force at the plate, Hupp also starred on the mound for the Titans.

Just like hitting, the southpaw struggled at times on the hill.

"I remember Drew Ashley, who went on to play at Indiana University, hit a home run off me which went out to the FFA Barn, that was not a memorable moment for me," he recalled. "But just like hitting, there were things I had to learn with pitching as well."

This past season, the lefty fanned 43 batters in 34 innings pitched and finished with an ERA of 4.74 to go along with three victories.

Just as all the players who passed through Gibson Southern ahead of him, Hupp hopes he was a positive influence on all the younger players in the Titans program.

"I had a lot of players who influence me when I was that young so I hope I was able to do the same for our younger players this year," he stated. "I just wanted to be able to contribute back in the same way."

He is also confident those players remaining in the program will be able to achieve something his teams could not.

"I have all the faith in the world in them that they can bring a sectional back to Gibson Southern," Hupp proclaimed. "We had a good start to the season and then we started to struggle some. But all those young guys will only get better and hopefully be able to come back even stronger next year."

And by the time those same young players graduate in a few years, Hupp hopes he is remembered as someone who helped lay the foundation to their championship success.

"I hope they say I was an influence to them which helped a couple championships," he said when asked what he hopes people think about him.

He also leaves them with a bit of advice in case they endure struggles like he once did.

"If you are in a hitting slump don't press too hard and try to go up to the plate and get a hit, just try and do something productive for the team," Hupp explained. "Sometimes just putting the ball in play to help move the runner over is just as good as a hit. Don't go up there looking to get the big hit, just try and make solid contact."

2019 Season Highlights

-- .358 batting average

-- 7 HR, 23 RBI's, 19 R

-- 1.14 OPS

-- 2-run HR in final career game

-- 1.26 K/IP

-- Pocket Athletic Conference First Team

Getting to Know Cody Hupp

iPhone or Android? iPhone

Favorite brand to wear? Under Armour

What's in the bag? Pitching glove, outfield glove, batting glove, resistance bands and two bats?

What kind of bat? Louisville Slugger

What kind of gloves? Rawlings for glove and Franklin for batting gloves

Favorite TV Show? The Flash

Favorite kind of music before a game? Rap or Hip hop

Favorite Social Media App? Snapchat

Snapchat score and longest streak? 200,000 (score) and 536 streak

Funniest teammate and why? Cale Colbert because of the jokes he tells

Favorite road trip moment? The time we were going to play at Terre Haute North and we ended up turning into Illinois at Vincennes and coach May said "whelp, I don't think we are in the right place!"

Favorite place to eat after a game? Wendy's

Any superstitions? Don't step on the foul lines before the game

Favorite ice cream flavor? Vanilla

Favorite ice cream topping? Chocolate syrup

Toughest pitcher faced? Shane Harris (North Posey)

Toughest batter faced? Drew Ashley (Evansville Memorial)

Favorite player to watch? Mike Trout

Favorite college team? Spalding University and Indiana University

Funniest memory of coach Chris May? The time where it stormed really bad and he walked into in really angry because he got soaked putting the tarp on the field.

Favorite team to play against? North Posey because I played with a lot of those guys and we did not like to lose to them.

If not baseball, what? I always liked (cart) racing when I was younger, so racing I guess.

Favorite movie? Avengers End Game

Favorite vacation spot? Florida or anywhere on the beach.

Favorite teacher and subject in school? Coach DeBord and Science.

Family? Darin (dad), Lori (father), McKenzie (sister) and Logan (brother).

2019 Season Highlights

-- .358 batting average

-- 7 HR, 23 RBI's, 19 R

-- 1.14 OPS

-- 2-run HR in final career game

-- 1.26 K/IP

-- Pocket Athletic Conference First Team

Getting to Know Cody Hupp

iPhone or Android? iPhone

Favorite brand to wear? Under Armour

What's in the bag? Pitching glove, outfield glove, batting glove, resistance bands and two bats?

What kind of bat? Louisville Slugger

What kind of gloves? Rawlings for glove and Franklin for batting gloves

Favorite TV Show? The Flash

Favorite kind of music before a game? Rap or Hip hop

Favorite Social Media App? Snapchat

Snapchat score and longest streak? 200,000 (score) and 536 streak

Funniest teammate and why? Cale Colbert because of the jokes he tells

Favorite road trip moment? The time we were going to play at Terre Haute North and we ended up turning into Illinois at Vincennes and coach May said "whelp, I don't think we are in the right place!"

Favorite place to eat after a game? Wendy's

Any superstitions? Don't step on the foul lines before the game

Favorite ice cream flavor? Vanilla

Favorite ice cream topping? Chocolate syrup

Toughest pitcher faced? Shane Harris (North Posey)

Toughest batter faced? Drew Ashley (Evansville Memorial)

Favorite player to watch? Mike Trout

Favorite college team? Spalding University and Indiana University

Funniest memory of coach Chris May? The time where it stormed really bad and he walked into in really angry because he got soaked putting the tarp on the field.

Favorite team to play against? North Posey because I played with a lot of those guys and we did not like to lose to them.

If not baseball, what? I always liked (cart) racing when I was younger, so racing I guess.

Favorite movie? Avengers End Game

Favorite vacation spot? Florida or anywhere on the beach.

Favorite teacher and subject in school? Coach DeBord and Science.

Family? Darin (dad), Lori (father), McKenzie (sister) and Logan (brother).

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