His team isn’t winning, but 2-year Alaska Baseball Academy star Willy Homza has been winning the one-on-one battle in the box.
The sophomore third baseman has more base hits than strikeouts and owns a .360 on-base percentage for a Brown University team that has started the NCAA D1 season 0-6 after getting swept by Nichols State and Texas A&M in back-to-back weekend series.
In today’s finale against Texas A&M, Homza collected his first career 3-hit game and set the table for his team’s lone run in a 5-1 loss in College Station, Texas.
The No. 2 hitter doubled and later scored to put Brown up 1-0 in the third inning. It was his second straight hit off Aggies starter Mitchell Kilkenny, a former Texas Class 5A Pitcher of the Year from Houston.
“He threw me two changeups and I sat on the second one,” Homza told me. “My first at-bat I got a fastball and got a barrel to it.
“I felt like I was recognizing pitches well right out of the hand.”
He lined out his third at-bat to end the fifth.
In the eighth inning, he singled off a different pitcher to raise his batting average to a career-high .273.
Homza, of ABA and South Post 4 fame, has banged out base hits in four of the first six games and is second on the team with nine total bases. He’s the only Brown player to hit a double and a triple this year.
“Extra-base hits are a combination of being stronger and a more aggressive approach,” he said.
Coaches tend to put their best contact hitter in the No. 2 spot, so it’s a role Homza earned behind the scenes. It’s now carrying over to the field.
“I think it’s easier to settle in when I’m consistently playing every game and getting quality ABs,” he said. “I feel like we have a good offensive plan this season.”
Credit: Van Williams