Hudson Hopkins’ baseball career has been put on hold more than once since earning a scholarship to play for the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.
Hopkins played his first college baseball at Seminole State, a reward for his four seasons with the Pleasant Grove Hawks. His first year at Ruston, La., was forgettable after tearing the ligaments in his right ankle.
Hudson joined the Texarkana Twins of the Texas Collegiate League in 2018, hoping to regain the form he had in junior college. The first couple of weeks were impressive, then he injured his back swinging a bat. The result was back surgery (L5), and now Hopkins is back with the Twins.
The Twins won their second straight game against Brazos Valley Thursday night, 4-3. Hudson was in the lineup both games, also contributing in Wednesday’s 14-6 victory over the Bombers.
Hopkins on rebound after back surgery
“My back feels tighter since having surgery, but I don’t believe my swing is different,” Hopkins said prior to Thursday’s game at George Dobson Field against the Brazos Valley Bombers. “It’s been nearly two years since I’ve played a lot of baseball. I have my power, it’s my timing. It’s just a matter of making the kind of contact that’s necessary to hitting the ball solid.
“Playing for the Twins this summer is a great opportunity, because I need lots of reps to get back into the swing of things. My coach at Tech (Lane Burrows) said he’d find a spot in the outfield for me my junior year if I have a good fall season. There’s even the possibility of playing ball after college if I can stay healthy.”
Former Liberty-Eylau catcher Triston Brooks is the only other Texarkana native playing for the Twins this summer. The local team’s roster does feature Texas A&M University-Texarkana pitchers Jordan Johnson and Michael Herrera.
Twins’ small crowds disappoint players
Perhaps the only disappointment Hopkins has endured while playing for the Twins this summer has been the team’s small crowds. The local high school teams usually enjoy bigger fanfare.
“It’s just my opinion, but I think they need to promote the Twins better throughout the community,” said Hopkins. “I don’t know how you would do that, but I feel there’s not that many people who know about the team.”
Hopkins enjoys his own fan club, which is probably because he was a good role model for his three younger brothers. He credits his father (Scott Hopkins) for his maturity, and early childhood success on a baseball diamond.
“My dad always backed us up in our decisions,” said Hopkins. “My brothers and I always wanted to play baseball, and dad coached us from the time we were eight until about fourteen-years-old.”
In addition to playing for Pleasant Grove, Hopkins was also a member of the Texarkana Razorbacks’ American Legion team.