Win-less Herd has the batter of the week in their line up - figure that one out.

sportsgold 100x100By Ken Pagan

May 29th, 2017



Justin Gideon is staying positive and, with a touch more confidence in his game, the results are showing on the field.

The Burlington Herd leadoff hitter, fresh off being named the IBL Batter of the Week, continued pumping out the hits on Saturday, mashing a long home run to centre-field as part of a 3-for-5 day in an 8-7 loss to the Brantford Red Sox.

Gideon, who turns 22 next month, is fourth in the IBL with a .478 batting average after six games, and leads the league with 11 hits and four doubles. His nine runs scored are second-most in the IBL.

Herd batter - Gideon

Justin Gideon, IBL Batter of the Week for May 15-21 swings for the win-less Burlington Herd

“I’m feeling more confident,” said Gideon, now in his third season with Burlington’s IBL squad. “As a rookie, sometimes you’re kind of hoping for hits, but when things are going well, you’re expecting to get hits and that makes a huge difference. I think that positive attitude really helps.”

He was named IBL Batter of the Week for May 15-21, after going 7-for-9, which included a monster 5-for-5 game in a 14-12 home loss to the Barrie Baycats.

“I haven’t changed too much with my approach, just some subtle things,” he said. “On the mental side, I feel like I’m playing with a lot more confidence, especially with being a leader on the team. I think you have to have that confidence regardless of how you’re doing.

“You have to take things one at-bat at a time. You can’t look at your day and see that you’re 0-for-2 and be scared to go 0-for-3. You have to look at the next at-bat and try to get a hit. You have to have a short memory.”

Gideon has played four seasons of OUA baseball at Brock University, where he has thrived, twice being named Brock’s MVP and earning OUA Top Hitter accolades. He was second in the OUA with a.469 batting average and two homers in 64 at-bats in 2014 and followed with a .422 average and three homers and a league-leading 30 runs scored in 2015.

Standing May 29-17But things came untracked in the 2016 fall season, when his average fell below .200

“It was just a combination of things,” he said. “I try not to make excuses, but it was just a slump I couldn’t get out of. It’s a lot shorter season and there are not as many at-bats (to come out of it), so it was just tough.”

However, he is making the most of a shot at redemption to get things back on track with the Herd this season. As the team’s table-setter and centre-fielder, he wants to continue setting high standards on the field.

“I want to bring a sense of leadership and try to keep a positive attitude among the guys and perform well every game,” he said. “ Even if I’m not performing offensively, I want to bring it defensively and just always be hustling and play with the same intensity every game.”

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