The Navy baseball team has had a successful season on the diamond. Left-handed pitcher Luke Gillingham and infielder/outfielder Sean Trent have had a lot to do with that success. Gillingham, a four-time National Pitcher of the Week recipient this season, was named Patriot League Pitcher of the Year May 5. Trent, who transferred to Navy this season, was named the conference's Player of the Year.
Luke Gillingham: I feel like it's a production of the last few years of the work we've put in. I'm fortunate enough to have two really good pitching coaches. I feel like I don't think I've done anything different -- just small minor adjustments -- but trusting the process and the work we've put in has really helped me this season.
MA: What's key to being known as a strikeout pitcher?
LG: I think I ended last season on a hot streak as far as strikeouts go, so I reflected during the second part of the season last year, because my strikeout totals were a little down, and I wasn't getting the results I wanted. I just decided to start attacking players more than I was -- start making things happen instead of letting them come to me. So I started to think about that in the offseason a lot last year, and it's translated well this season.
MA: Any word on what's next for you? Are MLB scouts interested?
LG: I've gotten a few nibbles, but obviously I made a commitment to the Naval Academy, to the Navy and my country, so I don't take that lightly. I guess I'll cross that bridge when it gets here, but I'm in the Navy now and happy to be here.
MA: Do you pay attention to your numbers? Do you know, for a period of time this season, you lead all of college baseball in hits?
Sean Trent: I actually found out about it through Facebook. The Naval Academy posted a poster that I was leading the nation in hits. I had no idea before that -- some guys were saying I was second in the NCAA. I just thought they were messing with me, because it was a surprise. I did not expect that at all.
MA: Baseball is a game of failure. How have you consistently stayed solid with the bat all season while getting on base?
ST: It's a game of failure. You know you're going to fail. So with that being said, just drop the batting average and come out and compete every time and try to help the team win. That's basically what I do. I don't think about leading the nation in hits. I try to go up and beat the pitcher in every at bat.
MA: Could you get a hit off Gillingham?
ST: He's a good pitcher. He attacks the zone early and often. He stays ahead of counts. He's fun to watch, and he's fun to be behind, because he brings a lot of motion to the table. You know you are going to have a good outing every time he gets on the mound. He has a lot of passion and plays hard. Did you ask if I can hit off him? Yeah, I think so.