July 10, 2013
WASHINGTON - Georgetown University rising sophomore baseball Nick Collins (Carthage, N.C./Union Pines) hasn't missed a bit since picking up a bat to start the 2013 season.
After a standout first year on the Hilltop that saw him lead all regulars in batting and appear in 47 games, Collins has continued his torrid hitting during the summer, standing among the league leaders in batting in the Cal Ripken Collegiate League.
Playing, and starting every day at catcher, for the Alexandria (Va.) Aces, Collins has helped the team get off to a 14-8 start to the summer, including a 7-1 tear in the last eight games. The Aces are in second place, trailing the Bethesda (Md.) Big Train.
Collins is batting .354 (28-for-79), with eight doubles, one triple and 17 RBI in 22 games. He is fifth in the league in average and ranks fourth in runs batted in.
"I just feel like I'm getting the hang of it," Collins said over the phone. "It's definitely carried over from my freshman year to the summer. I'm comfortable at the plate and having the confidence of this past season I think really has helped me."
Collins enjoyed a tremendous freshman season for the Hoyas, finishing the season with a .333 average (59-for-177), hitting six doubles, two triples, three home runs and driving in 30 runs. He led all regulars in batting and was second on the team in hits (59), total bases (78), slugging percentage (.441) and RBI (30).
While he played a lot of ball during the summers growing up in North Carolina, the chance to play for the Aces and in the Cal Ripken league afforded him the chance to live away from home for a summer. He's staying this summer with a host family in northern Virginia.
"It's a great opportunity to meet new people and building a home-away-from-home for a couple of months," said Collins, who has helped to mow the lawn and weed in the yard for his host family. "I've enjoyed it. My host family is great and they invite me out. I've enjoyed it and the chance to build new relationships."
Playing in the Cal Ripken League also gave Collins the opportunity to meet the player the league is named after, the former Baltimore Orioles star. Cal Ripken, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, was at a game between the Alexandria team and Youse's Orioles, where Ripken's son plays, and Collins spoke to him after the game.
"It was a good opportunity," Collins said. "Cal came walking by and I had the chance to chat with him briefly and get a photo taken. Knowing the level he played at and that he's a Hall of Famer, it was an honor. Not many people can say they met a Hall of Famer, so I was pretty fortunate and it's a neat story."
Georgetown finished the 2013 season with a 25-28 record.