Nic Kent On Pace to Become first Wahoo Freshman in 20 Years to Lead Team in RBI
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Virginia second baseman Nic Kent is grinding away in practice.
He's made an impact with the 'Hoos as just a freshman.
"Just come in here and wanted to help the team however I could playing anywhere the coaches needed me to," says Kent. "It's been great having a good impact on the team."
Kent has ten multi-hit games this season, most on the team. He's batting .303 at UVA's final exam break.
He started the year hitting at the bottom of Virginia's lineup. Kent has batted second the last 19 games.
Kent currently leads Virginia with 37 RBI and is on pace to become the first Wahoo in 20 years to lead Virginia in RBI as just a freshman.
"He was hitting in the nine spot in the lineup for most of the year and typically that's not an RBI spot," says UVa coach Brian O'Connor. "What that does tell me he's very opportunistic, when he's had opportunities to knock runs in he's done it. He appears to me as someone who thrives off the opportunity."
Kent, who's never been known as a home run hitter, now has three this season for Virginia. His first came back in March against Pittsburgh. It turned out to be the game winning hit in Virginia's 5-2 win.
"It was crazy, I wasn't expecting to do that at all," says Kent. "I'm not much of a power hitter but I got into a good count. Just trying to put a good swing on it."
In the field Kent has started almost every game at second base forming a dynamic duo with short stop Tanner Morris. The two were once teammates in high school at St. Anne's Belfield.
"He's just a gritty, tough type player that puts everything on the line," says Morris. "He's made an awesome transition. He's one of those guys that listens and takes everything in and has adjusted really well."
"Even knowing him in high school, he's been a man of very few words," says O'Connor. "He just lets his action and the way he plays the game speak for itself."
"You definitely have your ups and downs," says Kent. "Just working hard on getting better every day. You have to just focus on the next day and getting better every day."