Two of the PBC’s top hitters cashed in an extra year of eligibility to return for one last season in green pinstripes.
Seniors Garrett Green and Wesley Wommack finished ninth and sixth, respectively, in batting average in the PBC in 2018. Both players have improved each year since joining the team as redshirt freshmen in the 2015-16 season.
Wommack, a left-handed hitting outfielder, broke out in the 2016 season with a .343 average, six home runs and 39 RBIs while starting 45 games. His season netted him PBC Freshman of the Year honors.
Green, a right-handed hitting infielder, played in 44 games in 2016, hitting .304 with eight doubles.
When head coach Jason Eller came in for the 2017 season, both played in all 49 games, with Wommack hitting .369 and Green hitting .301.
Green and Wommack both took their games to the next level in 2018 through working with Eller and assistant coach Jake Sandlin.
Wommack hit in the No. 3 spot in the order and ranked in the Top 15 in the PBC with a .395 batting average (sixth), 89 hits (third), 15 doubles (tied-fifth), 52 runs batted in (t-12th), 11 stolen bases (t-13th) a .432 on-base percentage (14th) and a .535 slugging percentage (15th).
“The biggest thing I think with me was mentally getting more in tune, getting stronger mentally and just looking forward to the next at-bat,” Wommack said.
Green finished the 2018 campaign with a .375 batting average and 78 hits, both ranking ninth in the PBC. He said his success was the result of a mechanical change in his swing.
“I had a big, one-hand finish and Eller came up to me and said, ‘Hey man, I want you to shorten your swing up and finish two hands. I think it really might help you get your swing plane flatter and you’ll be in the zone longer.’ And for me it really clicked right away,” Green said.
Green and Wommack said they want to build on their 2018 seasons and go out with a bang. After struggling in the playoffs, Green said he focused on getting stronger this offseason.
The 6-foot-1 190-pound Wommack said he adjusted his hitting mechanics and spent time in the weight room to improve his power at the plate.
“To a certain extend I’ve added a little leg kick and just focused on looking at some of the new swings in the big leagues,” said Wommack, a business management major. “Not saying that I’m just adjusting to the upswing and launch angle, but I’m trying to adapt my swing based on how the game is changing.”
The younger Bobcats view them as mentors. Junior Cal Gentry said Green and Wommack took him under their wing and helped him adjust to college baseball life. Gentry went on to hit .441 in his freshman year and earned first team All-Peach Belt honors.
“They’re two of my favorite teammates I’ve ever been with,” Gentry said. “They bring so much good energy and good vibes to the field and the weight room.”
Wommack said there were numerous players who impacted him along the way including Brandon Purcell and Brandon Benson, both with the St. Louis Cardinals organization.
“I think learning how they played the game and now they’re obviously in pro ball, learning how they played the game and trying to mimic what they did has allowed me to mature and grow more as a player,” Wommack said.
Green and Wommack will look to build upon their 2018 success while leaving a legacy for the next generation.
“No matter if you’re 0-for-4 or 4-for-4, you can be a great teammate and serve your teammates,” Green said. “That’s really what we try to teach the young kids because I think that will carry them to a successful four-year or five-year career and that’s really what I want to leave my mark on the program.”
Eller knows the team has big cleats to fill next year. He said their strong characters make them special players.
“Those guys just do such a great job of being role models every day and great teammates every day,” Eller said. “It’s just who they are and what they do in the clubhouse and how they act when they get off the bus and go into restaurants, everything that they do man. Those guys are pure joy to be around and I love them being around my own children to rub off on them.”