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At 4-foot-9 and 90 pounds, Grant Trinkle isn’t the prototypical power-hitting baseball player.
But power is one of the tools possessed by the sixth-grader at Southside Elementary. He’s been doing pushups and situps for four years and now does 250 of each a day during the offseason.
“They used to kid me in Madison because when he was a little-bitty tyke, he hit a 220-foot fence,” said his father, Todd Trinkle. “The coach yelled back ‘Ten more pushups a night, and I think he’ll have it out of here, Dad.’”
The Trinkles moved back to Columbus from Madison a little more than year ago, and this year Grant joined the Indiana Bulls and Ohio Elite travel programs. He was recently one of 15 players nationwide to be named to the 11U Travelball All-America team.
“He’s one of the top hitters on the team and is extremely gifted athletically,” Bulls 11U coach Brent Osswald said. “He works hard and is overall one of those five-tool players you kind of look for at a young age.”
Osswald said Trinkle batted around .500 for Bulls this season. The team went 62-20 and won several tournaments, including the USSSA Super NIT in Cincinnati that qualified it for the USSSA Elite 32 World Series at Disney World.
In that Elite 32 World Series, the Bulls were locked in a 0-0 game against a team from Panama.
Trinkle went to the mound in the sixth inning and pitched three scoreless innings before Panama pulled out a 1-0 win in the ninth at 3 a.m.
In the Super NIT, Trinkle made a diving, over-the-shoulder catch in right field to save a run. He also had a pair of hits in the championship game.
“It’s one of the better plays I’ve seen since I’ve been coaching,” Osswald said. “It was an unbelievable play. He contributed defensively with his glove and offensively with his bat and on the bases with his speed. He’s the typical kid you’re looking for to compete at that level.
“He’s a hard worker, great attitude, great teammate,” he said. “He’s an overall great kid.”
Trinkle caught on with Ohio Elite, thanks to an invitation by its coach, former Greensburg resident Scott Wilson. Trinkle and Wilson’s son, Keegan, played together on the Indiana Blazers while Trinkle was living in Madison.
“The competition went up a lot from the Blazers,” Trinkle said. “The Blazers was mostly Greensburg and local, but this year we went to Michigan three or four times, Kentucky, Florida and Alabama. I like getting to play the competition, meeting all kids around the country.”
Ohio Elite went 50-12-1 this year and won seven of 12 tournaments, including the USSSA state championship in Ohio. The team finished third in the USSSA Global World Series in Gulf Shores, Ala.
Trinkle batted .433 with eight home runs and 45 RBIs.
“He’s a good leader,” Scott Wilson said. “He’s very versatile, so having a utility player like Grant is very unique to have a player be able to fill in a lot of positions. He’s very baseball savvy.”
Trinkle plays every position except first base. He likes center field the best.
On the mound, Trinkle hits 65 mph consistently and tops out around 67 or 68.
“I started off really weak,” Trinkle said. “It was mostly athleticism and speed. Then, I started to work my way up to where I was as strong as most of the kids.”
Trinkle also plays point guard for Southside’s basketball team and running back and linebacker for his PAAL and All-Star football teams. He scored 18 touchdowns in seven PAAL games this season.
Trinkle comes from an athletic family. Older brother Cooper plays football and baseball as a freshman at Columbus North. Younger brother Bryant, a fourth-grader at Southside, plays football, basketball and golf.
Todd played golf at Hanover College. Mother Melanie’s father and brother played college baseball, and cousin Evan Seacat played basketball at Northwestern University.
“His mom is pretty athletic,” Todd Trinkle said. “She was a high school athlete, as well. She’s about 6-1, so hopefully he can stretch out.”
Grant plans to play baseball for Ohio Elite again next summer and play football at Northside Middle School next fall. He hopes to eventually play both sports at Columbus North High School.
“I don’t push him,” Todd Trinkle said. “If he came to me today and said ‘I don’t want to play anymore,’ that’s fine. We’re going to be involved in something.
“I see a lot of these kids that are burned out already at his age, and I see a lot of kids with arm injuries. We got done playing with the Bulls at the Disney Tournament Aug. 2, and he hasn’t thrown a baseball since. We shut him down.”
The Trinkle file
Name: Grant Trinkle
School: Southside Elementary
Sports: Baseball, football, basketball
Family: Parents Todd and Melanie, brothers Cooper and Bryant
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