NBC Baseball

Wittels keeps focus on winning

The Kenai Peninsula Oilers have yet to play a game in the NBC World series, so the thought of a hot streak is irrelevant at this point.

However, when they do finally get a chance to take field there's no doubt that the Oilers will look for a little bit of infielder Garrett Wittels' magic at the plate to carry over.

Wittels ended his junior season with the Panthers Florida International on a 56-game hitting streak and would like to help his summer-league team from Kenai out in any way he can. Wittels' streak is two short of Robin Ventura's NCAA record of 58 straight games at Oklahoma State in 1987.

"Our coaches have done a good job of making me very comfortable out there in Alaska, especially the last couple of weeks with adjusting to the climate," Wittels said." They've done a good job of getting our team ready to play. We're definitely in this tournament to win it."

Wittels will likely approach the plate with the same conviction that he used while playing for his college squad — focusing more on the game than his personal stats.

"Sometimes my team needs me to get a sac bunt or my teams needs me to walk. It all just depends on what they need from me," Wittels said. "I just go out there and try to help my team every game."

Wittels said the only time he really focuses on protecting the plate and getting a hit is when a game is out of reach and he has had a bad night at the plate.

Wittels said he has a little bit more motivation thanks to the welcoming weather of Wichita.

"I like it a lot. Especially because I'm from Miami. I'm used to this heat," he said. "Being out there and being able to sweat all the time is definitely a good thing."

Five-hit game for Behar — Jose Behar went 5 for 6 with six RBIs in Sedalia's 15-4 win over Derby and was a triple away from hitting for the cycle on Monday night.

Don't feel too bad for Behar, though, as he had two home runs against the Twins.

"One little hit can spark a big rally, and everybody contributed today," Behar said." It wasn't only me. From one through nine everybody contributed with a hit or an RBI. I don't want to put all of the credit to me. We had 19 hits."

Plenty of strikes —Gunnison Colts pitcher Charlie Stevens threw 8 1/3 inningsfor the Gunnison Colts in their 2-1 win over the Greeley Grays, and had 13 strikeouts in the process.

Stevens only gave up one hit and one earned run in the outing.

  Comments