Baselines and bloodlines for ODU baseball

Posted at 11:53 PM, May 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-18 23:58:53-04

NORFOLK, Va. - There are 450-plus foot, upper deck home runs that wish they went as deep as the Sinnen family does in Hampton Roads baseball.

Sinnen family ODU baseball

Matt Sinnen of Virginia Beach founded the Tidewater Drillers, one of the top travel teams on the east coast. He and his wife Tina's oldest son Brooks played baseball at Old Dominion. However, that was just the start of the Sinnen story at ODU.

In baseball, a pitcher's best friend is the double play. But ODU right-hander Sam Sinnen may disagree.

Sure, double plays make a difference during his moments on the mound, but his best friend on the field? That title is taken.

"I've had more people tell me how unique it was than I've actually ever stepped back and thought about it," Sam told News 3.

While pitching for the Monarchs, Sam shares fastballs, curve balls and change-ups with his catcher. He also shares a last name.

Yes, behind the plate for eight of Sam Sinnen's starts this season: his twin brother Kurt Sinnen.

"I mean of course it's different," Kurt said smiling. "I've been catching him my whole life. I know what he wants to throw."

Sinnen family ODU baseball (Photo: CB Wilkins)

"He always tries to remind me he's the one calling the pitches," Sam explained. "But I'm going to throw what I want to throw."

Baseball jargon, a romance language to some, labels a pitcher and catcher as "the battery". And this story of the Sinnen family has a bit more voltage.

"It's a true blessing," Tina Sinnen said. "To have three boys not go anywhere but once place."

Kurt and Sam have another baseball brother. Turner Bishop, who's started more than 40 games in the outfield for ODU this season, was adopted by Matt and Tina Sinnen at the age of 11.

"They are my two best friends," Turner admitted. "I already looked at them as brothers, so it just fell into place."

"After the twins were born, I got pregnant again right away and lost a baby," Tina revealed. "It was a boy. I always tell them it was God's way of giving me back the boy I was supposed to have."

"Looking back now, having Turner as a brother is one of the biggest blessings I could ever have," said Kurt.

Sinnen family ODU baseball

The three Kellam High School graduates are now alumni of Old Dominion. Last weekend, the boys played their final home series. Sam earned a win on the mound while Kurt and Turner combined to score nine runs and drive in 18 - including a double by Bishop to bring home Kurt from second base.

Senior weekend was also Mother's Day weekend.

"I couldn't have hand picked a better mother," Turner said with a wide grin.

"All three of us are blessed and lucky to have her as a caregiver and a mother," Kurt added.

"College has been an absolute blur," Tina explained. "I tell the freshman parents not to blink."

But even if you do blink, it's tough to miss a Sinnen sibling on the diamond at ODU. Double plays might be a pitcher's best friend, but this triple play is family.