Batts on hot streak for Pirates
By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — Stephen Batts and hits have gone hand-in-hand this season.
The sophomore first baseman for the East Carolina Pirates is currently riding a 26-game hitting streak, which is the second longest in school history.
His focus and mental approach in the batter’s box have worked well. Batts is now just two games shy of tying the all-time school record of 28 games, set by Steve Sides in 1987.
Batts would love to see his name at the top of the hit streak list. He’ll have a chance to tie and possibly break the record when the Pirates play in the NCAA Regional at Chapel Hill this weekend.
The Pirates play the Western Carolina Catamounts in regional action Friday at 2 p.m. at Boshamer Stadium. They’ll be joined by North Carolina and Jacksonville in the regional.
Batts has played a big factor in why the Pirates advanced to the regionals after missing out last year. He has five home runs, 51 RBIs and a .316 batting average, which is third best on the team.
Batts, who was named to the Conference USA all-tournament team, leads the Pirates with his 51 RBIs.
Batts actually went to East Carolina to play soccer, but he ended up in a baseball uniform instead. He had a solid freshman season, hitting one homer, driving in 15 runs and batting at a .336 clip.
It’s not much of a surprise that Batts has been able to put up big numbers this season.
After going 0-for-3 in a 3-2 win over UNC-Wilmington on April 11, Batts has had at least one hit in every game since then. He started the streak in a 7-4 win over Marshall on April 13 in the first game of a doubleheader, going 2-for-5.
Batts went 2-for-4 with a grand slam in the second game, a 13-3 win for the Pirates.
During Batts’ current hitting streak, he is 35-for-106 (.332 average) with four homers and 20 RBIs. He’s had multiple hits in eight of the 26 games.
Batts waited until the ninth inning in three of those games to get his first hit.
The hitting streak doesn’t exactly weigh on his mind during the games.
LONGEST HIT STREAKS
28 – Steve Sides, 1987
26 – Stephen Batts, 2007
23 – Chad Tracy, 2001
21 – Jamie Paige, 2004
17 – Ryan Jones, 2004
17 – Trevor Lawhorn, 2004
16 – Ryan Norwood, 2006
16 – Lee Delfino, 2000
15 – Ryan Tousley, 2006
15 – Ryan Norwood, 2004
15 – Joseph Hastings, 2001
15 – Erik Bakich, 2000