For the baseball team to be able to sweep a top contender, they would need all their key players to be producing. Sophomore second baseman Brain Bezek did more than his share this past weekend.
The financial economics major crushed the ball in the four games against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, going a total of eight for 16, with five runs batted in.
These numbers are nothing new for Bezek as he has been on a tear this season, hitting .392 and 14 RBIs in 15 total games.
The typical utility man from the Rochester area has played a number of positions including shortstop, but has found a comfortable home at second base. The Yellowjackets will need Bezek to keep up the offensive numbers if they will have a chance in the Liberty League Championships in mid-May.
What’s the difference between playing shortstop and second base?
Second base is usually a shorter throw and I’d say its kind of easier than shortstop. They are pretty much the same but second base you don’t have to throw the ball as hard.
What kind of connection do you have with the shortstop, senior Nate Stein?
The shortstop and second basemen are close, more than any other positions on the field, probably more than pitcher and catcher. We have to communicate on every play. … Nate and I are good friends and we talk about everything as far as communication goes.
Do you feel like you improved this year?
I didn’t play a lot at the beginning of the year because I was hurt. This weekend, especially, things came together. RPI is our biggest rival so it felt good to have a victory against a team like that.
How long were you out from the injury?
I didn’t play a lot in Florida on the Spring Break trip. [Since] I’ve been back in the swing of things, it’s nice to feel better and be able to play and to practice with the guys.
After you’ve had a bad day or strikeout, how do you clear your head?
If you play baseball it’s kind of a thing you learn from a young age. It’s probably one of the sports where you deal with failure most. You’re not going to have a good hit every time. Even the best players strike out. … You get used to it. And you realize if you’re not hitting well, you have to clear your head quick and get out there because you have to help your team defensively too. You kind of have to separate the two. You have to let it go and have a short memory. It helps too when you’re doing well because then you have more confidence.
Does the team have any traditions?
This year our main focus has been on winning. Whenever we come together before the games we do our cheer. We say “always win.’ I guess our focus this year is on the end and to take everything one game at a time. Winning isn’t everything; it is the only thing.
What’s your favorite play?
[Defensively,] double plays that’s my favorite thing. We had a couple big ones this weekend that got us out of some innings.
Do you prefer to play in hot or cold weather?
I’ve lived in Rochester my whole life, so I’m used to playing in the cold. As long as your playing and not on the bench. I’m not a fan playing in 90 degrees out, when it’s blistering hot.
Leber is a member of the class of 2011.