View Mobile Site

The Wright stuff: Slugger finds a home at Georgia Southern

The Wright stuff: Slugger finds a home at Georgia Southern

The Wright stuff: Slugger finds a home at Georgia Southern

Georgia Southern designated hitter Ty...


    Looking back, Ty Wright can’t help but marvel at how far he’s come.
    Just last summer, his baseball future was uncertain as he searched for a place to play after wrapping up his junior-college career with All-American honors.
    These days the Georgia Southern junior is one of the nation’s top hitters, ranking second in the country in slugging percentage (.841) and boasting the Southern Conference’s second-best batting average (.407).
    “I have high expectations, but I never dreamed I would hit this well,” said Wright, the reigning Pro-line Athletic national player of the week.
    GSU had been on the Montrose native’s radar since his high school days when former Eagle football assistant John Pate recruited him to Statesboro. But Wright’s heart was sold on baseball, so he headed to Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College where he had two stellar seasons after graduating from West Laurens High.
    “I’ve always wanted to come to Georgia Southern,” said Wright, who took his first steps toward becoming an Eagle when he sent an unsolicited email to GSU baseball coach Rodney Hennon in the middle of last summer. Hennon did a background check on Wright and contacted him the next day.
    “(Pate) had a lot of good things to say about him from a character standpoint,” Hennon said. “Coach (Mike) Tidick hopped in the car and went to see him work out. We gave him an opportunity, and we’re certainly glad he’s here and a part of our program.
“From day one, he’s fit in really well here. He’s a hard worker, has a great personality, is well-liked by his teammates and well-respected.”
    Wright’s new school came with an unfamiliar role — hitting leadoff. He’d never batted so high in the lineup and was accustomed to hitting in the third, fourth or fifth spots.
    “It’s been a new experience for me, but I like it so far,” Wright said. “I’m seeing better pitches, but that’s not just (because) of hitting leadoff. We’ve got great guys around me, so (opponents) have got to pitch to someone.”
    Having a power hitter like Wright in the leadoff spot is unusual, but Hennon likes Wright’s ability to immediately put pressure on opposing pitchers. The designated hitter/outfielder has done just that, slamming a school-record six home runs to start a game. He’s launched 14 bombs this year, including a three-run shot off the top of the scoreboard in Wednesday’s home win over Jacksonville.
    “He’s a guy that if you make a mistake can hurt you in a heartbeat,” Hennon said. “The other thing he does is put the ball in play. He doesn’t strike out an awful lot, especially for a guy with that kind of strength and power. He doesn’t give up many at-bats. He’s not afraid to hit down in the count, and he has that knack of fighting off some good pitches and keeping an at-bat alive until he gets some good pitches to hit.”
    From the get-go, Hennon knew Wright was a strong hitter, and he always believed in Wright’s potential to grow. Wright’s already proven Hennon right, bettering his ability to hit the other way after pulling the ball most of the fall.
“He’s strong enough to drive balls to the opposite field in the gaps and out of the yard,” Hennon said. “I think that’s the biggest thing: The more he plays the better he’s going to get and the more he’s going to develop as a hitter.”
    Wright’s best stretch as an Eagle came last week when he batted .500 in five straight wins to earn his first SoCon player of the week accolade. His two-run, 11th-inning double gave GSU a win at Kennesaw State, and he put an exclamation point on the week by hitting for the cycle during a weekend sweep at Wofford. Wright accomplished the feat during the first four innings.
    “It’s definitely been a good week,” Wright said. “I’m seeing the ball really well, and I’ve been getting good pitches to hit.”
Notes: The Eagles (26-18, 10-8) host The Citadel (23-21, 11-10) for a key SoCon series beginning today at 7 p.m. GSU is in fifth-place in the league standings while the Bulldogs are sixth. … Junior centerfielder Matt Miller is out for the season with a stress fracture after fouling a ball off his leg in mid-March. The Eagles will try to garner a medical redshirt so he won’t lose a year of eligibility. … A Clements Tailgate is scheduled for Saturday at 4 p.m., two hours before first pitch. The event is free and open to the public. … On Sunday, children ages 14 and under will be admitted free with a paid adult. During the game, GSU officials will accept donations to support Bulloch County’s Joseph’s Home for Boys, which benefits local children in need.

    Alex Pellegrino can be reached at (912) 489-9413.

Interested in viewing premium content?

A subscription is required before viewing this article and other premium content.

Already a registered member and have a subscription?

If you have already purchased a subscription, please log in to view the full article.

Are you registered, but do not have a subscription?

If you are a registed user and would like to purchase a subscription, log in to view a list of available subscriptions.

Interested in becoming a registered member and purchasing a subscription?

Join our community today by registering for a FREE account. Once you have registered for a FREE account, click SUBSCRIBE NOW to purchase access to premium content.

Membership Benefits

  • Instant access to creating Blogs, Photo Albums, and Event listings.
  • Email alerts with the latest news.
  • Access to commenting on articles.

Please wait ...