Childers led the Dutchmen in RBI (7), Walks (6) and Stolen Bases (4) within the past week.
Justin Childers (Ohio Dominican University) has been named Albany Dutchmen Spotlight Player of the Week #3, for the week of June 15-21.
Childers, who was also named Spotlight Player of the Week for Week #1, brought an extremely well-rounded, yet dominant, effort to the diamond this past week.
He batted .375 (6-16), scored three runs, had two extra-base hits (a home run and a bases-clearing double), seven RBI, six walks, stole four bases, and had an on-base percentage of .545, a slugging percentage of .625, which gave him an OPS of 1.170 for the week.
Childers said that being more comfortable and having composure at the plate has been a key to his sustained success.
“You’ve already faced them [pitchers] once or twice throughout the year and you kind of already know that they have, and they probably know what you have,” he said. “They know what they got you out on and you know what they hit you hard on. It’s definitely become a little bit easier at the plate because you’ve already done it twice against these guys and you know that you can succeed against them.”
While the hits and the batting average is there for Childers, it’s impossible to ignore his power numbers.
Childers had the first two Dutchmen home runs of the year, one which came in the home opener against Glens Falls Red Dragons on June 2, and again last Saturday, June 18, against the Saugerties Stallions.
“The feeling is awesome because I’ve never been a huge power guy,” Childers said. “In high school, I only hit one or two home runs in my high school career, and i didn’t have any last year in my first year in college. I made some big time adjustments.”
That two-run home run, along with his bases-clearing double on the road against Glens Falls, which was nearly a home run itself, were the two extra base hits he collected over the week, tallying him five of his seven RBI.
The most important at bat of his week was against the Saugerties Stallions in the second game of their double header.
After pinch-hitting in the 6th inning of a seven inning game, Childers had his chance to clinch the victory for his team in the bottom of the 8th. He delivered.
“The walk-off hit was unbelievable because it was the first time I’d ever done it,” Childers said. “It was just a surreal feeling to give the team the victory.”
Childers’ single to center field which scored Micah McHugh (University of Mississippi) from second base gave the Dutchmen the doubleheader sweep over the Stallions, and their third straight victory at the time.
Despite coming in off the bench, Childers said he was still mentally prepared for the at bat. He said that he tried to simulate his at bats from the dugout in case he was needed, and then head coach Nick Davey gave him the call.
“He told me to be ready,” Childers said. “You’ve always got to be ready on the bench.”
Along with the power and clutch hitting Childers had over the past week, he showed his offensive versatility by drawing six walks and stealing four bases on five attempts.
“I’ve been trying to implement stolen bases into my game for a while now,” Childers said. “For him, [Coach Davey] giving me the opportunity to give us the green light, it’s awesome and it instills confidence in you. I love how aggressive he is.”
Childers will look to continue his great start into week 4 when the Dutchmen host the Saugerties Stallions, who he had great success against last week, Thursday night at Bob Bellizzi Field at 7:05 p.m.