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Comets' Counts finds a home atop the batting lineup

St. John sophomore having strong season

May 7, 2009
Matt Mullally

Rolette-Rolla-St. John first-year coach Jesse Vote says there have been many pleasant surprises on the diamond this spring, but perhaps none bigger than leadoff hitter Evan Counts.

The sophomore from St. John is giving opposing pitchers all sorts of fits. "He's batting .356, has an on-base percentage of over .500, and is a perfect eight-for-eight in stolen base attempts.

"He's able to extend the at bat by fouling off pitches and has a good eye at the plate,' said Vote. "And then when he gets on base he's usually on the go."

Counts doesn't stay on first base very long, using his speed to steal and get into scoring position. "I just watch the pitcher's leg (and study his delivery),' said Counts. "If his leg is moving forward, I'm taking off."

He played mostly on the JV last spring but has made the most of his opportunities on varsity this year. "I'm more confident at the plate,' he said. "I don't know, I'm just making better contact."

He even has a home run to his credit. That occurred in a JV game earlier this month.

Counts' ability to get on base consistently has enabled the Comets to shuffle their lineup and move their experienced hitters - Jaden Pfeifer, Nic Pfeifer and Blake Nelson - to the 2-3-4 spots of the batting order and bat more often with runners in scoring position.

He has scored eight runs through six games, and offensively, the Comets are averaging over five runs a game.

His quick feet also make him valuable in the outfield, tracking down balls.



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