A Shinning Star set to emerge from the Shadows
Don't let Will Block's quiet persona fool you. Once he steps onto the diamond, he is one of the biggest competitors there is. And entering his final season as an Owl, there seems to have been a natural progression to becoming a team leader.
"I'm a pretty quite guy around the locker room and just go about my business. The biggest challenge [for me] was to be more of a vocal leader," he said. Block may also have to adjust being in the spotlight as opposed to staying hidden in the shadows of others.
It's clear that Coach McCormack wants and expects Block to grab the opportunity to shine and showcase his ability.
"He plays hard. He's very aggressive and he gets the guys to play harder," McCormack said. As a senior who has not had the chance at post season play, McCormack hopes for Block to have a "good year, win a championships and play a regional."
As a junior, Block managed to maintain a .347 batting average, while hitting 12 home runs and totaling 47 RBI.
For his career, he ranks fourth all-time at FAU with 173 runs scored; fifth in home runs (37), eight in hits (222) and 11th in RBI (138).
With those type of numbers, you may wonder how he managed to duck the spotlight for so long.Photo by JC Riley
"He's a good player, a team leader and was voted team captain," said McCormack. "He's done a nice job transitioning from when he got here at third base over to second base."
Displaying the type of attitude willing to do what was best for the team that also impressed McCormack.
Introducing another one of "Coach Mac's" new twists: "one thing that a lot of people don't know is that he's going to pitch a little this year."
Pitching is something both have discussed over the summer and it's something McCormack is serious seeing what Block can do.† Block pitched a little in high school and has thrown some in the bullpen during his years at FAU.
This has the potential of being a real bonus for the pitching staff.
"As long as I'm out there and the team is winning that is all that counts," said Block. "As a competitor, I always want the ball in my hands. Being a pitcher and a hitter, it's pretty much the highest level that you can get to compete on the baseball field."
"With the schedule the way it is these days, the more good arms you have the better chance you have saving people and winning games," Block added.
With the success and reputation that Owl baseball has earned over the years, the idea of post season play was expected.
With the recent three-year drought, fans are yearning to feel the aura once again. There is no doubt not playing in the post season has stayed on the players and coaches minds.†
Block puts it into perspective by saying: "your always working to be the best, to win games, to win the conference, make it to regional and then super-regional. So yes the expectations and† pressures are about the same. You just have to go out and play hard every day."
And win ball games.
As a competitor, you have to like Block's "just give me the ball" attitude .