Transfer outfielder Jacob Gleason tearing it up for GVSU baseball
Simply put, if a team can’t hit the ball and bring runners home, that team will not win ball games.
Luckily for Grand Valley State baseball, they’re not in that position, and outfielder Jacob Gleason is a major reason why.
“I just want to keep hitting the ball hard; that’s what I try to do—go up there and get my job done,” Gleason said. “Just help the team in any way possible.”
As a junior college transfer from Jackson Community College, the 6-foot-3-inch junior out of Grand Blanc, Michigan, has been raking in his first season as a Laker. He currently leads the team in batting average (.443), runs scored (18), hits (31), extra base hits (12, including seven doubles, three triples and two home runs), slugging percentage (.714), walks (13) and on-base percentage (.535). He also has the second most runs batted in (22).
Without his bat in the lineup, the GVSU lineup would be left with a canyon in the three spot. Because of that, GVSU head coach Jamie Detillion has found consistency in the best order of his lineup.
“He gives us a true three-hitter, and usually when you have a quality guy there in the middle of the lineup, it gets a little bit easier for the guys around him to feed off of him, and right now it’s really helping out,” Detillion said. “We have a 3-4-5 that we certainly haven’t had the last couple of years that give us some stability right now. It’s early in the season, but hopefully this continues. It gives us a really productive middle of the lineup with some power threats.”
Gleason made his way to Allendale after his head coach at JCC, Rick Smith—a GVSU baseball alumnus—told the Lakers about his hot-hitting outfielder and that they might want to give him a look. The coaching staff paid him a visit and fell in love with what they saw.
“I love it here, can’t complain about much,” Gleason said. “We’ve been putting a lot of hard work in as a team and feed off the energy from my teammates, and that just helps me get in a groove going out there.”
While certainly on the right track, Gleason wants to become the most complete ballplayer he can possibly be. With that comes two areas of improvement: consistency and emotion.
“With him being a three-hitter, the biggest hope for a coaching staff is to get consistent productive results,” Detillion said. “For him to come to practice every single day to become a better hitter, and to show up every day with something to prove and hit like a three-hitter, and put those results up so your teammates can feed off it, that’s what a quality middle-of-the-lineup guy does.”
While the 2018 season has started off hot for Gleason, whether he can keep up the production is a major key for him. If his bat continues to translate from his junior college to the upper levels of Division II, he is in for even more success.
The Laker baseball team will next face GLIAC opponent Purdue Northwest in a four-game road weekend series starting Friday, March 23, and ending Sunday, March 25.