Huie at top of DIII stats, team hopeful for rest of the seasonFriday

Joshua Mabry, Campus Carrier Sports Editor

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Sophomore Spence Johns pitches in an out-of-conference game against Covenant College on Tuesday. Photos by Andrea Hill | Campus Carrier

Sophomore outfielder Zach Huie has seven triples on the season, which is tied for second place for most triples in all of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III baseball.

Even though he is excited about this accomplishment, he said that it does not really mean that much to how he is going to perform as the season continues to progress.

“I’m still going to do what coach tells me to do and keep working to get better each day,” Huie said.

Huie said that he tries to hit a gap every at bat and just starts running when he gets a hit.

“If I get three, I get three,” Huie said. “I don’t really think about it. I just run hard.”

According to Huie, much of his accomplishment is a result of his teammates cheering from the dugout when he is at the plate.

David Beasley, head coach, said that even though baseball is a team game, there are moments for individuals to shine. He is proud that his team’s success has brought some recognition to what they are doing.

“I’m definitely happy with the success that we’ve had,” Beasley said. “There are a lot of things that go into us getting to third base off the bat.

It takes much commitment to get to three out of the box, Beasley said.

“I honestly feel like you get to third base in the first 20 steps out of the box,” Beasley said. “It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy now that everybody wants to hit triples and that’s a lot better than everyone trying to hit home runs.”

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Junior Zack Walch

As far as the season on the whole goes for the Vikings, Beasley said that even though his team has a respectable 20-9 overall season record, he feels like his team should have an even better record.

There have been several factors, including poor weather conditions, the flu going through the team and injuries, that have caused the Vikings to have some difficulty this season, according to Beasley.

“It’s been a huge grind,” Beasley said. “We’ve had to rely on a lot of people that were not front line guys to start with, but they have done a good job. They stepped up and played big roles.”

Beasley said that there is not one player who has a made a more significant impact toward team success than other players this season.

“I think everybody has their role and everybody comes out every day to work hard to change their role but also everybody understands their role,” Beasley said. “I would be really remiss to name one guy that’s really done a great job. I think there are a lot of guys who have done a wonderful job.”

Huie echoed Beasley and said that each player can individually make an impact at a certain game.

Beasley said that there are 40 games in Berry’s season and the Vikings have 11 games left to play.

If the team performs well during their last 11 games, they will be in a suitable spot at the end of the season, Beasley said.

“A lot of teams’ fates are already determined right now because they are 28 games into the year,” Beasley said. “The good thing about us is we have put ourselves in a position where our fate is not determined yet.”

Like Beasley, Huie said that there are some games that Berry should have won, but he believes they are in a good spot for this point of the season.

The Vikings have a good chance of winning out the rest of their conference games, according to Huie.

“As long as we just keep playing as a team and now that we’re all healthy again, I think that more or less we’re going to have a good shot to finish out this year strong,” Huie said.

Huie said that the Vikings need to work on their approach at the plate, but the team is solid defensively.

“I think that we need to stick with the approach that Coach Beasley always talks about and good things always come from that,” Huie said.

The next game for the Vikings will be a Southern Athletic Association (SAA) three-game series against Millsaps College at Berry on Saturday and Sunday. The first two games of the series will be a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Vikings will then face Millsaps again on Sunday at noon to conclude the series.

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