For Dallastown’s Tye Golden, baseball just comes naturally. He took up the sport as a youngster, stayed with it, and now excels at it.
Golden boasts a combination of speed, power and hitting ability, all while maintaining order in the Wildcats’ middle-infield from his shortstop position.
“To me it’s a family thing,” he said. “Everyone in my family played. … It just came naturally to me. From a younger age, I could kind of tell I was decent at it, so it just stuck. I enjoyed playing it. It was fun.”
Entering his junior season, Golden is already a two-time YAIAA all-star. He’s coming off a season in which he hit .365 with 27 hits, 21 runs batted in and 17 runs scored.
Things kept progressing early, as this summer Golden committed to study and play at Old Dominion University.
But even though the sport is taking him to a Division I college after his 2017 graduation, that is not what Golden set out to accomplish.
“I never expected, or had it as a goal. It was never, 'I need to do this.' I just kind of let everything happen,” he said.
First-year Dallastown coach Greg Kinneman said Golden's unassuming nature is appealing.
“One of the great characteristics he has is he is very humble,” the coach said. “He knows he is committed to Old Dominion and he’s done some good things already in his high school career. He certainly isn’t a kid who thinks of himself as better than everybody else.
“He comes in here with us and works hard every day and sets a good example for his teammates.”
Golden won't be the first Division I commit to play for Kinneman, who spent years on the staff at West York when it won consecutive PIAA Class AAA championships. One of his sons, Brett Kinneman, is playing baseball at North Carolina State.
Kinneman, a teacher at Dallastown Intermediate School, brought a new training regimen with him from West York when he took the Wildcats helm.
“We were filled with 45-50 guys working out with us all winter (at West York) and filled with other really good athletes and really good baseball players,” he said. “Coming over to Dallastown, I was fully aware it was not only a great school district, but I know there is also some baseball talent as well.”
Kinneman said Golden isn't the only one putting in work as he's instituted new offseason workouts. And for their part, the Wildcats can look to Kinneman's success at West York.
“We were wondering if he would come over,” Golden said. “I am excited. We’ve never been in the weight room and never been outside in the winter. The expectation of winning is really there. To win a state championship, you have to put in work.”
Division I: Spring Grove
Division II: West York
Division III: Eastern York
Division IV: Delone Catholic
YAIAA tournament: West York