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Published: Wednesday, 5/19/2010

BGSU slugger winding up baseball career

BY DONALD EMMONS
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

BOWLING GREEN - Derek Spencer started his final baseball season at Bowling Green State University struggling at the plate.

But it didn't take long for the onetime Clay High standout to correct his problems.

The tweaks and tinkering have led to Spencer batting over .300 and on his way to finishing a fourth consecutive season with a batting average over .300.

"I've put up decent numbers. My senior year didn't get started off quite the way I wanted to, but things are looking up and we're starting to win. Come down to crunch time we're playing good ball when we need to.

"Overall, I'm pleased. I can't really go back and change anything."

Then again, there really is no need to change what Spencer has done. There's not much to be disappointed about for someone who will finish his career ranked among the all-time best Falcons in eight offensive statistical categories. He entered his senior season ranked second in RBIs and third in home runs.

Through 40 games this season he was batting .310 with 53 hits, including 10 homers, 10 doubles, and 4 triples. He also had 43 RBIs and scored 39 runs. In fact, he has raised his batting average more than 100 points since March 23 when he was batting in the low .200 range.

"I didn't have the spotlight on me and I wasn't a big name coming out of high school by any means, so I never really gave in to any pressures that may have been there or may not have been there," Spencer said.

An All-City performer in high school, Spencer arrived at BGSU just looking for an opportunity to continue his playing career in college.

He thought attending BGSU was a perfect fit for what he was looking for in a college.

"I did the showcases and went all around the state of Ohio," said Spencer, a business major, recalling the time leading up to deciding on attending BGSU. "It came down to making a decision between Bowling Green and Akron, and this is a lot closer and easier for family and friends to get to. Overall, I'm not disappointed with my decision at all."

As a freshman, he led the team with a .405 batting average and a .655 slugging percentage. His sophomore season consisted of hitting safely in 39 straight games and matching the school single-game record with five hits against Akron. He finished the season with a .360 batting average. He recorded a team-high 15 home runs and led the team with 26 extra-base hits during his junior season.

"I just get out here and play at a comfort level and play how you're supposed to," Spencer said. "I just try to take it one game at a time and get better."

And it's been quite a successful approach for the Clay Eagle who became a Falcon.

Contact Donald Emmons at:

demmons@theblade.com

or 419-724-6302.



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