Too many awards to carry

Senior first baseman Nic Wilson has emerged as a central figure for the Panthers’ proficient offense. His performance at the plate the week prior to spring break earned him multiple awards.

The week began with Wilson compiling three awards on March 17. He became the first Georgia State player to be awareded the Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week, which is selected by the Collegiate Baseball newspaper, since Chad Smith won it in February of 2000.

The same day, he was named Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week as well as the Georgia State Student-Athlete of the Week.

Remarkably, the following day, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association honored Wilson as National Hitter of the Week.

“To tell you the truth, I didn’t even know about most of the awards that I had won,” Wilson said. “All of those are great, but I’ve always tried to maintain my focus on the team instead of any individual accolades.”

Wilson is currently batting .419, which is tied for 25 in the NCAA. He is also one of only two players in the nation with at least 10 home runs.

Head Coach Greg Frady attributed Wilson’s recent hot streak to consistency, hard work and family.

“[Wilson] has been the most consistent hitter for our team,” Frady said. “He is an extremely hard worker, and he comes from a family who knows a lot about athletics since his dad used to be a head coach for Georgia State basketball in the nineties.”

Carter Wilson, Nic Wilson’s father, was the men’s basketball head coach at Georgia State from 1994 to 1997 and assistant coach in 1990-91. He helped the program make its first appearance in the NCAA tournament.

Over the course of that week, Wilson hit five home runs and drove in 15 in five games. He hit .579 with a 1.421 slugging percentage and had an on-base percentage of .625.

The Panthers swept their two-game series against the Siena Saints with Wilson going 5-for-7, with three homers and nine RBIs.

The Panthers then faced Western Kentucky in a three-game weekend series to begin its Sun Belt schedule. The team defeated the Hilltoppers in the opener before being swept in a doubleheader. In the series, Wilson batted .500, hit two home runs and drove in six of the Panthers’ 14 runs.

Since, the team suffered through a six-game losing streak, including being swept on the road at Louisiana-Lafayette.

“We struggled in our first few conference games,” said Wilson. “The ball has not been bouncing our way, but nobody’s panicking. We know that there is still plenty of baseball left to be played, so we’re confident that we can turn things around and start winning some games.”

The team did bounce back this past weekend, winning two-of-three against Troy.

Even though the team has experienced adversity in the form of its recent slump, the team still maintains one of the most productive offenses in collegiate baseball.

The team has six players that are hitting at least .270 and 10 players who are either seniors or redshirt seniors.

“Not only is our team full of guys that can hit the ball very well, but we have a lot of seniors on our team,” said Wilson. “And, even though Coach Frady has the final say on most things, leadership is defined by what you do when you’re on the diamond. Our seniors assume leadership roles to an extent, but, ultimately, our leaders do so by example.”

Frady still believes that the team will return to its winning ways because of a mindset the team has that they believe they can win any game.

“Even in a good portion of the games we have lost, we still played well in,” Frady said. “We have a good team and we’re confident that those things that didn’t go our way will and that we can win some.”

Wilson echoed the sentiments of his coach.

“Every time we go out onto that field, we have a mindset that we feel we can win,” Wilson said. “So, again, even though we’ve struggled a bit lately, we still have that mindset that we are going to win.”