The SwampDogs’ designated hitter Derek Gibson was named the week two Coastal Plain League Hitter of the Week to help his team to a 5-1 record over that span.
“It’s a huge honor to be recognized in such a talented lineup,” Gibson said. “I feel extremely comfortable hitting in the middle of the order. I just trust our coaching staff to put us in situations where we can be successful and I will hit wherever they feel most benefits the team.”
The Southeast Missouri redshirt junior batted .550, including a league-high 11 hits since June 3. Gibson drove in four runs, scored five times, and laid down three sacrifice bunts.
“I try to keep my approach simple and consistent each time at the plate. I try to look for a good pitch to hit early in the count. I’m a very aggressive hitter but will take pitches if they are not in my zone. If I’m seeing four to five pitches each at bat and not swinging at balls out of the zone, I consider that a good at bat regardless of the result,” Gibson said.
Gibson can spray the ball to all parts of the outfield depending on where the pitch is located, and he has a very good eye for the strike zone as he drew a .667 on-base percentage in his last six games.
The Bonne Terre, Missouri native had a successful junior season where he batted .332 and slugged 13 extra base hits in 52 games. He seems to have no problem adjusting to the wood bats.
“There’s definitely a change in the amount of power that can be generated from metal to wood. I still try to hit with the same approach and try to hit line drives. Wood bats give you honest feedback each and every time you’re at the plate,” Gibson commented.
Gibson can enjoy the honest feedback for at least one more week considering he has been swinging an incredible bat out of the four and five hole.
The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 17th season in 2013, the CPL features 14 teams playing North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. The CPL gives college players the chance to refine their skills with the use of wooden bats. Players are housed with local host families for the summer and past experiences have been very positive for both players and hosts. Furthermore, the CPL has had over 1,000 alumni drafted and 63 alums – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut thus far. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com and follow us via Twitter @CPLBaseball.