It’s not too often that a team is able to boast a .500 hitter at the front of its lineup, even after the first 24 at-bats.
But the Milledgeville Capitals of the Peach State League not only have Brian Kolb hitting at a .542 pace, they have cleanup hitter Matt Huggins doing almost as well, batting .462 with a league-leading 12 RBI.
And after the first two weeks of the season, they have emerged as the leading hitters in a strong hitting league.
“I am really happy the way I am swinging the bat right now,” said Huggins, who last played in the Arizona winter league after ending his college career at Midland Lutheran College in Nebraska. I’m actually a little surprised at how well I am doing. Hitting is a contagious thing, and really we are very strong up and down the lineup. I think the Peach State League has been a great experience for me and its giving me a great opportunity to get looked at by other leagues. I have been very happy with the way everything has gone so far.”
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That includes the reception the players and teams have received. The first-year league has games and fireworks shows scheduled today and Sunday.
“The crowds have been great for the main game, and really the only thing that makes it difficult is playing the afternoon game in front of the small crowds,” Huggins said. “That takes some getting used to. I am 23 years old right now, and I’ll probably give it this summer and the winter and see if I can get picked up somewhere. I know I can still play, and I am definitely not ready to give up on the dream yet.”
Kolb has been on fire from the very start.
“I was just looking for somewhere to play as soon as the season was over in college, said Kolb, who played at Wheaton College in Illinois. “I was just looking for a league that was going to give me some good coaching and a chance to play every day, and I have been very pleased with everything. Hopefully I will be able to use this as a stepping stone and move on to bigger things, but if I don’t, at least I know I did all I could.
“Right now, I am just seeing the ball real well, and I have been blessed by having some hits falling in. Part of being hot is having the ball find the holes, and hopefully it will continue all summer. I love the aggressive style of baseball we are playing, and I think we really have a strong team. I will keep playing this game as long as I have the opportunity and hopefully get a good break and get to play longer than most people do.”