Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

February 19, 2014

VSU’s Reed repeats as Player of the Week

VALDOSTA — Mike Reed can’t remember experiencing a hot streak like the one that has netted him back-to-back Gulf South Conference Player of the Week awards.

Yet, Valdosta State coach Greg Guilliams isn’t surprised by anything his junior shortstop has done this season.

“Mike’s swinging the bat well, but I’m not surprised,” Guilliams said as the 9-0 Blazers prepare to host Columbus State in a 5 p.m. game today. “He’s performing like I thought he would perform to be honest with you.

“Now, he’s probably not going to hit over .500 all year, there’s just too many games. But he’s putting together good at-bats, and he’s been swinging the bat well at practice. He’s intelligent and has a good plan at the plate. So it’s not a surprise to me.”

And all the transfer from Florida State College in Jacksonville, Fla., has done is hit .567 with 14 runs scored and 16 RBIs while also stealing seven bases.

One week after winning his initial GSC honor following a week in which he hit .667 with seven runs and eight RBIs with two doubles and a stolen base, the former Auburn player nearly matched those totals last week. In four games, Reed notched at least two hits in each as he hit .643 with five runs scored and six RBIs.

“Honestly, it’s just trying to the same thing,” Reed said. “I’m ding the same routine in practice, just trying to put together good practices. And then in games, just trying to put together good at-bats for the team.

“And like I said last week, I’m finding some good holes. I’m getting a little lucky now, but I’m still putting good swings on good pitches and it’s working out well.”

That success, though, hasn’t changed the type of player Reed is, at least from Guilliams’ perspective.

“Mike is pretty mentally dialed in and he’s pretty mentally tough,” he said. “He’s the kind of kid that can do back-to-back Gulf South Conference Player of the Week because he’s very passionate about the game and he really cares, not just about him but about the team.

“If you watch most of his at-bats, his hits are team at-bats. He chokes up with two strikes, he’ll go back side and move a runner. It’s not just about getting in there and turning it and hitting it as hard and as far as he can.”

Winning and being a team player is what drives Reed. It also helps making plays easier, he said.

“It’s definitely fun and makes the game more enjoyable, that’s for sure,” Reed added. “It makes everything a lot easier when you win, that’s a proven fact.”

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