BRISTOL - Over his first 59 at-bats for the Bristol Blues, it didnâ€™t look like Andy Hague was going to deliver on his goal this summer - improving at the plate.
â€śMy goal this summer was to get a ton of at bats and figure out my swing to get ready to go back to UConn in the fall,â€ť Hague said.
He was 11-for-59 to begin the season, hitting just .186.
Over his last three games, though, Hague has proven to be one of the more dangerous hitters in Bristolâ€™s lineup.
Against the North Shore Navigators, Marthaâ€™s Vineyard Sharks and Brockton Rox, Hague had six hits in 10 at-bats, with one double and a run driven in.
â€śIâ€™ve just been sticking with it,â€ť Hague said. â€śBaseball is a really humbling game and I know Iâ€™m a good player. When I started off slow, I knew that I was lining out a lot and knew it was coming, so I just had to keep faith. Thatâ€™s been the most important part of turning it around.â€ť
With just 69 total at-bats on the season, the question remains how much playing time Hague will see in the final weeks of the season.
â€śEarly on, when he got back [from UConn], we were trying to get into a little bit of a rotation with our infielders, so everybody was getting at-bats and such,â€ť Palmer said. â€śBut weâ€™ve had a couple guys go down with injuries and such throughout the course of the summer, so it opened up some opportunities for some guys and Andy is one of those guys, and heâ€™s taking advantage of the opportunity heâ€™s gotten.â€ť
The hitting part has been a pleasant surprise for Hague, but the experience heâ€™s had in Bristol and the benefits playing in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League offers him has also been big for his game.
Part of a winning tradition at Amity High School, Hague brings a winning mindset that Palmer wants to see out of all the players.
The Amity program won a state record four straight titles, with the fourth coming in 2016.
His attitude reflects that and having a guy like Hague in the clubhouse will only help Bristol in big moments in the postseason.
â€śHe shows up every day with the right attitude and heâ€™s a ball of positive energy,â€ť Palmer said. â€śHe works hard every day out at the field, and when you work hard Iâ€™m a firm believer that things will come. Heâ€™s busted his butt this summer and itâ€™s starting to pay off here.â€ť
Like others on the team, the range of players featured in the league has stood out to Hague.
â€śMy favorite part of the summer has definitely been meeting the guys on the team,â€ť Hague said. â€śMeeting [players] from all over the country and from different colleges has been unreal. Theyâ€™re great guys and the baseball web is getting bigger for me meeting all of these new people.â€ť