Hodge becoming big contributor for JDCC
Published 12:19 pm Wednesday, March 28, 2007
By BY BRUCE HIXON – SPORTS EDITOR
Defense was never one of Jefferson Davis Community College Warhawks baseball coach Darrell Blevins' concerns about sophomore first baseman Daniel Hodge. The question was could Hodge hit well enough to keep the position.
The answer so far has been a resounding yes.
A four-for-nine effort at the plate over the weekend against Enterprise-Ozark lifted Hodge's season batting mark above the .300 mark to .303 (20-for-66).
The former W.S. Neal Blue Eagle has especially had a hot bat the last couple of weeks. Hodge has 10 hits in his last 21 at-bats over JDCC's last eight games, a .476 mark.
Those numbers are a far contrast from a year ago when toe and shoulder injuries limited Hodge to just 28 games of action and a .171 batting average.
While Hodge raised his batting average nearly 80 points during the fall exhibition season, he still only hit .250 and left the door open for other competitors to grab the starting spot this spring.
So far this spring Hodge has done what it takes to hold on to the starting spot.
Hodge agrees patience has been a big key to his success so far.
Hodge gives a lot of credit to W.S. Neal coach Coy Campbell for his success.
His individual success is not the only reason why Hodge is enjoying this season a lot more than he did last year. Last season JDCC went 22-31 overall and just 8-22 in the Alabama Community College Conference. This year the Warhawks are currently sitting at 14-13 overall, 7-5 in the ACCC.
Hodge is making his contributions as a walk-on player, but is attending school through an academic scholarship. His continued academic success recently landed him another academic scholarship, this one from the University of Alabama, which Hodge plans to use next fall.
Hodge is considering walking-on at Alabama.
Blevins said Hodge will be successful either way.