- By Greg Leasure
- Published: April 17th, 2012
Alex Close has provided a reliable bat in the No. 5 slot, as well as a solid glove at first base
The Liberty Flames baseball team has enjoyed a steady flow of offense this season and has even found power in some unexpected places. That power source is Alex Close.
A freshman who opened the season playing sparingly at three different positions, Close is now the team’s everyday first baseman, thanks mostly to his batting skills. He leads the team with six home runs.
“I’ve been working with coach (Matt) Hagen on staying back and getting power in my swing,” Close said. “It’s been paying off.”
An extra bonus that came from Close’s power surge was more playing time.
“It’s awesome,” Close said. “I’ve played a lot more than I thought I was going to coming into the year. It’s been a blessing, and hopefully I can continue to do whatever is necessary to help us win.”
Earlier in the season, Close started a game on the mound and caught a few innings as well.
Even more impressive is that it took two injuries for Close to get his chance. Catcher Danny Grauer began the season injured, forcing first baseman and catcher Trey Wimmer behind the plate. Close and Ryan Cordell then split time at first base, but Cordell became Michael Robertson’s replacement in right field when Robertson was lost for the year with a leg injury, opening the door for Close.
“He (Robertson) actually got hurt diving into third,” Close said. “He stole third, and I was on first. I stole behind him, and it got me my first stolen base. I always give him a hard time about that.”
Speed may not be Close’s strong suit, but offense is a different story.
“I just love to hit,” Close said. “There’s no other way to put that one.”
Some freshmen might have gotten caught up in offensive statistics, but Close retains his team-oriented mindset.
“I think the highlight of my season has got to be just the amount of wins we’ve had, and seeing so many guys succeed at so many different things has been kind of cool to see as a freshman.”
Close is a business finance major from Hoover, Ala. and, like most freshmen, he still has a few years to figure out what he wants to do after college.
“I don’t really know, to be honest,” Close said. “I’ll probably end up somewhere down south again, in the business world.”
When his playing days are over, he’s not sure whether baseball will have anything to do with his career, but he is certainly open to the idea.
“I’m not 100 percent sure yet,” Close said. “I’d love to be involved in the game somehow.”
He lived in Georgia until his move to Alabama during his junior year of high school, which explains why his favorite baseball team is the Atlanta Braves. Close used to travel down to Atlanta and see his favorite player, Chipper Jones, play all the time. He also enjoys watching basketball and football in his free time.
Halfway through his first year as a college baseball player, Close’s favorite part about the collegiate game is the environment.
“Every single game, it feels like it’s a battle, and there’s so much on the line,” Close said.
As the end of the season approaches, he is looking forward to participating in his first conference tournament and, hopefully, his first regional. If the team does get that far, Close will be an important part of the battle.
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- July 2010