UC Irvine’s center fielder Mike Peabody overheard a reporter pull out the numbers he’s produced on the plate this season. He has answered.
“I mean, I like to listen to you,” he said by phone on Tuesday morning. “You sound great, but it’s just all the time we’ve all put into trying to make our plan, our approach come true.”
Peabody beats .361 for the anteaters, who rank first in the Big West Conference with a record of 16-4 (22-11 overall). He beats .588 with a high base percentage of .492 for an OPS of 1,080. He also has four home runs and 26 RBIs; That’s only three fewer than team leader Nathan Church, who has 42 more bats (139-97).
To get a better idea of how impressive this is to Peabody, he hit 0.312 in the second year of 2019 with a home run and 28 RBIs in 173 bats, hitting 0.416. His OPS was 0.850 and his base percentage was .434.
In the 2020 season shortened by the pandemic, he was never really left untouched, beating just 0.246 in two games with two home runs, nine RBIs, an OPS of 0.842 and a base percentage of 0.386. he hit .456.
He admits to having surprised himself.
“Yeah, I’d say that,” said Peabody, who was still a junior after the NCAA allowed athletes not to lose a year of eligibility starting in 2020. “I wanted to be able to try to do better this year, but I think.” I’ve done more than I thought, which is cool. ”
Peabody explained what he thinks are the differences.
“I have to say it starts with maturity and the realization that I can’t be able to hit every single shot,” said Peabody, a 6-foot-4,200-pound left-handed man from Mater Dei High.
“But it also goes back to our coaches who just give us the confidence to go further up as a batsman and help us fix the little mechanical problems we have and help us on the mental side. ”
The anteaters played three of Cal Poly’s four Big West games last weekend. Peabody went 6 for 16 (.375) with a home run and eight RBIs, the home run and five of the RBIs in Sunday’s 17-1 win.
Peabody couldn’t wait to talk about the entire team. The anteaters were chosen to come in third behind UC Santa Barbara and Long Beach State in a preseason trainer poll. The gauchos (24-15 in total) play a conference game behind the anteaters at 3-5pm.
“We always thought we were the best team at the conference,” said Peabody. “We knew we had a good team. We didn’t know how good we could be. But once everyone has started putting things together … like our pitching staff, we have an amazing pitching staff. ”
UCI’s team ERA is a conference best 3.72.
The anteaters begin a challenging route on Friday as they finish 22nd in a non-conference series of three games in the US state of Oregon. UCI will host Long Beach State (8-8 Big West) in a four-game series the following weekend and play at UC Santa Barbara the following weekend.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
UCI junior catcher Dillon Tatum was named conference player of the week on Monday and Anteater’s sophomore redshirt Michael Frias was named pitcher of the week.
Tatum hit four home runs in the four-game series against Cal Poly. He went 7 for 11 (.636) with a slugging percentage of 1.909 when six of his seven hits went for additional bases. He scored five runs with eight RBIs.
Frias threw eight innings, allowed only one run and scored nine hits in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Cal Poly. He only allowed two hits in the infield. He is 5-0 with an ERA of 2.23 this season.
THIS AND THAT
LBSU (10-9 overall) took two of three out of Pacific in a non-conference series over the weekend. The Dirtbags defeated the Tigers 28:10 in the final on Sunday, scoring 18 hits and five home runs – two apiece from Jonathon Long (4 RBIs) and Javier Rosales (5 RBIs). …
Cal State Fullerton (15-16, 8-4) took three of four from UC Davis last weekend. A double from Caden Connor in two runs in an eighth inning in three runs gave the Titans a 7-6 win in Sunday’s final. …
CSUN (7-13 Big West) hit a season high on Sunday with a 15-8 win over UC Riverside. Denzel Clarke went 4 for 4 with a home run and four RBIs for the Matadors. …
The other games, however, went to UC Riverside. The Highlanders (10-17, 8-12) won the first three games by 6-5 (11 innings), 5-1 and 8-4. Jacob Shanks sacrificial fly in the 11th inning gave UCR the win in the opener.