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Walk-on freshman tops WVU in batting

May 8, 2012
MICKEY FURFARI FAN-FARE

MORGANTOWN - This hasn't been one of West Virginia University's best baseball teams at 18-29, including 6-15 in the Big East.

But the Mountaineers are being led at bat by a walk-on, true freshman named Bobby Boyd, who's hitting .316.

The 5-foot-9, 160-pound regular center fielder went from a struggling player last fall to one of the team's finest all-around performers.

Boyd, who was batting .322 before going 1-for-4 in his last game, said he really loves being at WVU. He's from Silver Spring, Md.

For 43 games (41 stats), he has 47 hits in 147 at-bats, 31 runs scored, five doubles, one triple and two home runs.

He also has 17 RBIs, 12 walks and was hit by pitch four times this season for the Mountaineers.

WVU head coach Greg Van Zant noted that Boyd worked hard during the offseason to earn a starting job.

He said, "Bobby has done a tremendous job for us. He's a walk-on player who has come along very well.

"He spent a lot of time adjusting his ball swing, which he could do. He had the ability to make adjustments - with his swing. He's a top-notch competitor."

Van Zant firmly believes that Boyd really wants to do well for the team.

He is also very pleased with the youngster's flexibility.

"Bobby can do more things in the field than anyone else on the team," the veteran coach continued. "He plays his position, defensively, very well.

"He can bunt for hits. He can steal bases (18). He's been the top hitter much of the time. He's a heck of a player.

"Bobby could be our MVP."

Boyd, who will be playing baseball in Alaska this summer, admittedly is surprised to be able to lead the team in hitting.

"But I got the chance to play early and I tried to take the advantage of that opportunity. I think my speed really helps me."

Boyd doesn't consider himself a long-ball hitter, although he does have eight extra-base blasts this season.

"I am a little more than an average hitter," he explained. "But we have been hitting hard at times."

Boyd said the Mountaineers 4-3 victory over 18th-ranked Louisville last Saturday was "huge." It is serving as a confidence booster for the final six Big East Conference games.

West Virginia has a three-game series at Georgetown this coming weekend, than is host to South Florida the following weekend.

The triumph against Louisville is the young team's biggest of the season.

 
 

 

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