Husson University junior shortstop Ethan Guerette has been the model of consistency.
He will enter today’s first-round game against Thomas College in the North Atlantic Conference Tournament with a 21-game hitting streak.
In those 21 games, he has gone 30-for-69 (.435). He has also scored 22 runs and driven in 16.
“I didn’t even realize that,” said Guerette who couldn’t pinpoint the reason behind his 21-game hitting streak.
“I’ve been focused, I guess,” he said.
“He can hit,” said Husson coach Jason Harvey. “That’s something he has always done even as a freshman. He stays within himself. He doesn’t try to do too much. He’ll hit the ball anywhere in the park. He sets the tone for us offensively.”
Guerette hit .333 with 3 homers and 16 RBIs as a freshman and was chosen to the All-NBAC first team and he followed that with a .330-0-34 season last year with 26 stolen bases.
“He has been having a heckuva’ year, offensively and defensively,” said Eagle sophomore righthander Nate Adams, who will draw the opening game assignment.
Husson, the second seed, is 21-18 overall (12-4 in the NAC) while and Thomas, the third seed, is 13-21 and 6-10. They will play the second game today after the noon opener in the double-elimination tourney between host and No. 1 seed Castleton State (26-12, 14-2) and No. 4 seed Lyndon State (11-23, 5-11).
Guerette is hitting .366 overall and leads the Eagle regulars in hits (49), total bases (69), slugging percentage (.515), on-base percentage (.446), walks (19) and stolen bases (23). He is tied for the team lead in triples with four and second in runs scored (35) and RBIs (26).
“I rolled my ankle in Florida but ever since we got back, I’ve paid attention to my swing. I’ve been seeing the ball real well. And I’m just now getting my power back,” said Guerette who used to be a pull hitter but has been hitting the ball to all fields this season.
“Instead of rolling the ball over to the left side, I’ve been slapping it up the middle. That way, it has a better chance of getting through even if I don’t hit it hard,” said Guerette.
Another impressive statistic is that Guerette has struck out just eight times in 157 plate appearances.
“Striking out is the worst thing you can do. If you put the ball in play, you at least have a chance to get on,” said Guerette.
“He’s a contact hitter. He becomes a better hitter with two strikes,” said Harvey. “He shortens up [his swing] and doesn’t try to do too much.”
Guerette, who hits second in the lineup behind Kyle Vanidestine, has been caught stealing just twice this year and said he watches the pitchers’ feet to gauge when to run.
“I pay attention to both feet and react when one of them moves,” said Guerette, a Wales native and former three-sports star at Oak Hill High School in Sabattus.
He said he was hoping to get 30 steals this season.
Guerette has also been solid in the field, making just 10 errors in 147 chances for a fielding percentage of .932.
“He has really stepped up defensively when he needed to,” said Harvey.
Complementing Guerette in the Husson lineup has been second baseman Cody Haverly-Johndro (.385-0-15), 1B Chris Maguire (.333-1-25), CF Tom Crews (.312-3-30) and Vanidestine (.283-0-15).
Adams (5-3, 3.57 earned run average), Ryan Arsenault (6-2, 2.74), Chris Morris (5-1, 4.04) and Kyle Leeman (2-2, 5.28) have been the mainstays on the mound.
Thomas has been led by CF Tom Desjardins (.380-2-33), 1B Josh Nickerson (.320-2-18) and Tim Costa (.303-0-13) along with pitchers Eric Sucy (1-3, 3.56), Payton Austin (1-2, 4.47) and Chris Farrar (2-1, 5.14).