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Time heals Hall's swoon

Saint Leo star hits stride by changing stride as he leads team into NCAA Regionals.

By JOHN C. COTEY

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 18, 2000


SAN ANTONIO -- Trevor Hall admits to loving the RBI. But through two months of the regular season, he was feeling a bit forlorn.

His average was down, and his production. He tried different swings, different stances, but was not getting different results.

Finally, he found the answer: During his stride, he was moving his head too much. He eliminated the stride and the head movement. Suddenly, getting Trevor Hall out became nearly impossible, especially with runners on base, as again the RBI piled up.

Reunited, and it felt so good.

"I just love knocking runners in," Hall said. "There's just something about it."

Now that Trevor has his groove back, he is hoping to help Saint Leo get its groove on at the NCAA Regionals, beginning today at Baseball City in Davenport. The Lions, ranked No. 20, face No. 2 Tampa at 8 p.m. The other game pits No. 5 Florida Southern against Gardner-Webb.

The Lions are making their second straight regional appearance in a quest for their first Division II Championships berth.

"I like this team; it seems more together this year than last year," Hall said. "We got so close last year, and now that were here again we want to keep it going. We had that taste in our mouth; I think that's helped us this year."

So too have Hall's production and about the hottest month a player can put together. In mid-March the sophomore first baseman was lost, frustrated and wondering if he would get another hit. Then, just like that ...

"I was starting to get very frustrated. At the beginning I was not doing very well at all," Hall said. "I had some little adjustments I had to make in my swing. I was doing so bad I was just trying different things so I tried (not striding) and started doing well."

In 17 April games, Hall drove in 40 runs. He batted .447 and had 34 hits, 10 doubles and three home runs and was named conference Player of the Month.

Hall lifted his average 100 points to .350 by season's end, finishing with seven home runs and 79 RBI.

"It was just confidence; at first I had no confidence," Hall said. "I didn't think I was ever going to get a hit. After I started to see the ball better, I knew I was going to get a hit."

The 6-3, 215-pound cleanup hitter has always had the mentality to drive in runs. He said an at-bat with no one on base isn't exciting, "just another at-bat."

Get a few runners on and you have Hall's undivided attention.

"I love pressure," Hall said. "I think I'm a horrible leadoff hitter. I just don't seem to get hits when there is no one on base. But when people get on base ... something inside me changes."

Maybe it is that something that attracted Saint Leo coach Eddie Stabile. There were 20 hitters in Pinellas County alone that had better averages than Hall's .314 as a senior at Countryside, and as many with more runs and RBI. But Stabile liked what he saw.

Hall is making sure he keeps liking.

"I just hope to keep it up at the regional," Hall said. "We feel pretty good going in. Hopefully we can do our jobs and get a championship."

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