The last time junior right-hander Preston Chaudoin took the field for the Hopkinsville baseball team, the Tigers were competing in the KHSAA State Tournament after knocking off Caldwell County to claim the 2019 2nd Region championship.
Chaudoin had a hit and an RBI in a district-title loss to Christian County and a hit and a walk in the Tigers’ region-clenching victory, capping a freshman season that yielded a .237 average at the plate with 18 R, 11 RBI, a double, 11 BB, and 7 stolen bases.
But Chaudoin made his mark on the mound as a freshman for the Tigers, leading the team with 9 starts and 50.2 innings pitched. He recorded 53 strikeouts and 23 walks for a 5-2 record and a 2.90 ERA.
Chaudoin didn’t let the loss of his sophomore season due to the pandemic slow him down, working on his own when facilities weren’t available and spending the summer and fall with the U16 Evansville Razorbacks.
Through 10 innings of work on the mound for the Razorbacks in September and October, Chaudoin yielded only a single run on 7 hits with 6 walks and 14 strikeouts, winning all three starts.
He also made stops this winter at the Perfect Game National Showcase and the Baseball Factory Preseason All-American Games in Phoenix, AR, where he allowed a hit and no runs over three innings on the mound.
At the Next Level Sports Academy Showcase earlier this month, Chaudoin topped out at 88 mph. His curveball was clocked in the low 70s.
The Tigers would have been one of the favorites to defend their second region title last season and return in 2021 without departed seniors Caleb Bapp, Layne Jorgensen, and Blake Sowell. Bapp and Jorgensen were among the team leaders at the plate in the 2019 run to the state tournament. But with a deep stable of pitchers and seven significant contributors returning, the path to the region title may once again go through Hopkinsville.