No more than just two years ago, Tim Lynch was on the diamond for the Golden Eagles, dog pilling at home plate after the game-winning throw out at home plate. That season he graduated and was drafted in the ninth round in the MLB draft by the Yankees, where he left his mark for Southern Miss fans in recent memory.
Now his brother, Danny, has stepped on campus and looks to do the same. Danny currently looks to be the starting third baseman as a true freshman, and to the pleasure of Southern Miss fans, looks to have the same productive bat his brother Tim had.
“[At] third base, Danny Lynch, Timmy Lynch’s younger brother, a true freshman, was very impressive over there both defensively and offensively,” Berry said. “A lot of the same that Timmy brought with us. I think [Danny is] a little bit ahead of where Timmy was as a true freshman. Still the same high baseball I.Q. [Danny] knows how to play the game, very competitive [and] focused on what he does. [Danny] comes out and practices like he’s going to play. The young man has been really impressive in the fall camp and moving into the spring.”
Danny is expected to have an immediate impact with the Golden Eagles, even being picked to be Conference USA’s Freshman of the Year by D1baseball.com.
However, for Danny, being a part of the Southern Miss culture was something he dreamed of, and as soon as the program offered him a scholarship, he committed no more than two weeks later.
“Watching [Tim] play here for four years,” Danny said. “This was my dream school. The fans are so into it, and it kind of always just felt like home.”
Like Danny, Tim agrees that being able to experience the program from the stands was a huge part of garnering Danny’s interest.
“All those factors kind of just made him really enjoy the school, enjoy the atmosphere and want to be a part of it,” Tim said. “I don’t think that there was that much of a decision and they offered him a scholarship. He saw the experience I had, and he wanted to be a part of it as well.”
Both Danny and Tim are not worried if Danny will have to deal with having to play with his brother’s shadow. In fact, both the brothers agree that they are almost the same player, but that Danny is more athletic than Tim.
“We both know the game pretty well,” Danny said. “I learned that from [Tim] a lot just kind of baseball I.Q. Our game is more pretty similar [but] I’m more athletic.”
“He’s more athletic, but there’s definitely a lot of similarities,” Tim said. “The one thing is that we both don’t run well. He’s slow too but when it comes to moving around and making plays over at third base, he’s got a much better arm than I did. He’s definitely got more on me on the defensive side I’m sure.”
Danny will not only look to duplicate Tim’s bat who led the team with a .365 batting average in 2016 but in some fashion match the bat of previous third baseman Taylor Braley and most recently, Luke Reynolds. Braley hit 17 home runs with a .313 average, and Reynolds was one of the nation’s leading hitters who led Conference USA in almost every hitting category. Danny has some credential as he was named hitter of the year in Florida’s 7A classification and in his junior year was named player of the year for his district.
However, Danny hasn’t felt any sort of pressure about having to fill a sibling shadow or matching Braley and Reynolds.
“I don’t think [Danny] is worried about that, and I don’t think he should be worried about that,” Tim said. “Obviously you are not going to replace Braley. You are not going to replace Reynolds. They are different players in themselves. He shouldn’t be worried about being the next Braley or Reynolds. He’s just trying to be the first Danny. He has different skill sets than those guys did, but I don’t see that there is any pressure to contribute like those guys did.”
“We have such a great lineup,” Danny said. “We have guys like [Matthew] Guidry, [Matt] Wallner, [Hunter] Slater [and Gabe] Montenegro. We really just have this great lineup. It’s easy, I just have to go out and play my role.”
For Tim, the biggest advice he has to pass to his brother was to not worry or question if he belongs there and to be more focused on being his own person and have his own experience.
“Trust yourself. You worked your whole life to get to this point, and don’t think that you got lucky to be there,” Tim said. “You earned your spot to be there. There’s no luck involved. It’s strictly work and the talent he was given. He deserves to be there. That was the toughest thing for myself was showing myself that I belonged there and trust that you can be with these guys. There’s definitely going to come a time when he’s no longer my younger brother. I’ll probably be his brother.”