Flames slugger Ben Holland is dominating Gulf South Conference (GSC) pitching
Senior Ben Holland, Flames baseball's first baseman, has been terrorizing opposing pitchers all year. He leads the Gulf South Conference (GSC) in home runs and slugging percentage; he is also battling for the highest batting average for the 2016 season.
Thirty-seven games in, Holland has piled up 14 of Lee's conference leading 46 home runs on his way to a staggering .897 slugging percentage. The second highest slugging percentage in the GSC is .717, 180 points fewer than Holland's.
Holland and Will Robertson, outfielder for Delta State, have put distance between themselves and the field for the highest average honors. They are both currently hovering around a .441 batting average for the 2016 season, 20 points higher than the following contender.
Holland said one of the ways he has maintained such consistency at the plate this season is every time at-bat he focuses on keeping his head in the game.
"I want to give myself every chance to be as successful as I can," Holland said. "For me, I like to see the pitch and just let my natural reaction to the pitch occur. This helps me to think less and let all my hard work and instinct take over."
Mark Brew, Flames baseball's head coach, said it has been nothing short of amazing to watch what Holland has done at the plate this season.
"Ben is what I call a professional hitter," Brew said. "He studies the game and goes to the plate each time with a great plan. His ability to make adjustments rapidly during at-bats and from one at-bat to the next has enabled him to have a great season. He has great patience and is as content with taking a walk as hitting a home run."
Holland pleads with people who bring up his highly impressive stats not to let him hear his numbers, claiming that knowing could affect his thought process at the plate, and force him to feel pressure to make things happen that are beyond his control rather than simply concentrating on hitting the ball hard.
This 2016 hitting rampage has Holland polishing off his career as a Flame in style and he said focusing on what has gotten him up to this point is the key from here on out.
"At this point in the season and my baseball career, I know that I just need to keep things simple, Holland said. "There are times when you just have a bad day or a couple of bad days, and sometimes there are adjustments that need to be made with your swing. It's crucial to know which one of these is the case and then move forward accordingly."