Huskies’ slugger Benson talks success: BU baseball’s Tyler Benson gives insight on plate productivity

Evin Hartsock, Sports Editor

Junior Tyler Benson begins his run to first after a hit against Seton Hill on March 5. Benson finished the game with 2 hits and an RBI in 5 at-bats.
 

     The Bloomsburg University baseball team has had a roller-coaster of a season as they currently sit at 21-19-1 on the year. Despite the ups and downs of wins and losses, one thing has been a constant for this 2017 team; junior Tyler Benson. The 6-foot, 175-pound infielder/outfielder has had a very productive season, making up a large part of the Huskies’ offense. Benson has been crushing the ball, batting a team-high .394 and has reached base on over half of his at-bats. In addition to hitting the ball at a high rate, Benson leads the team in RBI with 38, total runs with 46, hits with 56, doubles with 17, and is tied for most home runs with six.

     As the season comes to a close, the Huskies still face some crucial games against PSAC opponents that will determine whether or not they advance to the postseason. Benson will need to keep his offensive production up in order for the club to do so, but with his track record so far, he should have no trouble doing it. Get to know BU baseball’s star through this quick Q&A:

When did you start playing baseball?  

     I have been playing baseball since before I can remember.  I started organized baseball though when I was 5 years old playing tee ball.

What made you start playing?            

     I am not really sure what made me start playing.  My dad always tells me stories about when I was a kid he would come home from work and I would ask him to play wiffle ball in the backyard and we would be out there playing for hours.

Have you/do you play any other sports?

     I played soccer, basketball, tennis, and golf growing up.  I played basketball all throughout high school and still golf on occasion with my dad and friends.

Are there any players that you’ve looked to for inspiration or tried to model your game after?        

     Yes definitely.  I watch a lot of baseball, if baseball is on TV I am most likely watching it and I try to learn from every guy I watch.  But one guy I really model my game after is Bryce Harper.  I love the way he plays the game and he is a lefty hitter just like myself so I can really relate to him.

What made you choose to play at Bloomsburg?

     I chose to play at Bloomsburg for many reasons.  When I visited for the first time I fell in love with the campus.  Also, I was able to come here and get a good education while continuing my baseball career.

 What is your favorite memory from your career here so far?

     My favorite memory from my career here so far is sweeping Lock Haven last season.  Being able to beat a team four times in two days is not easy and being able to go out and do that is something special.

Can you remember a time when the team faced some adversity and how they overcame it?

     We really faced adversity my freshman year when we had one of our top hitters dismissed from the team.  We could have packed it in and let our season be negatively affected by it but every guy stepped up.  We had a good offensive year and even though we didn’t make the playoffs we became stronger as a team.

Baseball seasons can be long with a lot of games. Is there a motto or lesson that the team goes by to stay motivated?         

 
     Coach Collins always stresses the motto that 28 beats 9.  That means that the 28 guys on our team can beat the 9 guys that any team has on the field.  This is what we try to emphasize to stay motivated throughout the season.  We want every guy on our team to be focused and ready to go every day because it is a long season and you never know when someone may go down with an injury and we will need someone else to step up in that spot.
You’re batting a very high .394 this season, leading the team in RBIs and have some home runs. What has been the key to your success this season?
This season’s success has a lot to do with how I have mentally been preparing and attacking each game.  I’ve really been focusing on taking each game one at a time and not letting one bad play or bad game snowball into a bigger problem.  Baseball is one of the toughest sports to stay mentally focused or relaxed and I have done a good job this year doing both of those.

As the season comes to a close, how are you feeling about going into the postseason?

     Well we haven’t made it into the postseason quite yet.  We have two more weekends of conference games to try and solidify a spot in the playoffs.  If we do make the playoffs though I have a good feeling about this team making a run to a PSAC championship.

     Bloomsburg is currently 8-11-1 in PSAC play and is eight games back from West Chester for the lead of the PSAC East. With some games to still make up against West Chester, and against other PSAC opponents, BU has the ability to earn a playoff spot.