Brock Stassi is keeping it simple at the plate this season.
“I’m just seeing the ball well and putting a good swing on it,” he said this weekend after the Nevada Wolf Pack’s four-game sweep over the New Mexico State Aggies at Peccole Park.
Stassi put enough good swings on the ball last week to earn the Western Athletic Conference’s Hitter of the Week award on Monday. The left-hander from Yuba City, Calif., went 9-for-16 against the Aggies with four runs scored, four RBI and two doubles and had a .611 on base percentage.
“Things are going well,” he said.
Stassi, a senior, is one of the hottest hitters in the WAC right now.
After the first 12 games of the year, though, he was hitting just .211 (8-for-38) with just 2 RBI. That start was after hitting .364 the previous season with nine homers and 42 RBI.
Stassi, though, didn’t let his slow start get him down. And there were some positive signs, even during his struggles. He had, after all, 12 walks over those first 12 games so he was still getting on base.
“I wasn’t really frustrated about my hitting,” he said. “At that time I was more frustrated about the fact that we weren’t winning.”
Since that slow start, Stassi has been on fire. He is hitting .415 over his last 23 games (34-for-82) with 14 RBI. And after striking out 12 times over his first 38 at-bats, he’s fanned just 14 times over his last 82 at-bats.
Stassi now leads the Wolf Pack in hitting at .350 and in on base percentage at .483.
“I’m the type of guy who tries to be the same when I go 0-for-30 or whether I’m in a hot streak,” he said. “I don’t want to get too high or too low.”
He’s also rounding into shape on the mound.
After missing the first two months of the season as a pitcher while recovering from a sore shoulder, Stassi has now made four starts on the mound with a 6.59 earned run average and 1-1 record.
He went five innings to earn his first victory since last May on Saturday by beating the Aggies.
“The shoulder feels great,” said Stassi, who didn’t make his first appearance on the mound this season until March 26 in Seattle against Washington. “I’m feeling stronger each time out there.”
Stassi battled through his longest outing of the season on Saturday when he went five innings and tossed 92 pitches.
“He just needs to get stronger,” Pack coach Gary Powers said. “He’s getting his legs stronger and his arm is coming around.”
Stassi was the WAC’s Pitcher of the Year in 2010 when he went 7-4 with a 3.43 ERA as a junior.
“He’s still a ways away from where he was last year,” Powers said. “He’s probably 75% of that right now. But he’s getting there.”
Stassi was limited to 50 and 46 pitches in his first two outings against Washington and Utah Valley (April 2). He threw 75 pitches against Seattle on April 10 and made a big jump to 92 on Saturday.
“It’s just a matter of going out there and getting my feet wet on the mound again,” he said.