McHenry first baseman really enjoying his taters
You might say Brett Stratinsky has a long history with baseball.
But more accurately, he has a history with the long ball.
The McHenry County College (MCC) first basemen has spent much of this season among the nation's leaders in home runs — a year after he got into the groove as a freshman.
Through April 25, Stratinsky had hit 13 home runs, ranking him No. 3 in Division I of the National Junior College Athletic Association. Last season, he hit 11 homers, which ranked him No. 32.
Stratinsky told the McHenry Times that a good offense around him led to his power surge. And indeed, MCC ranked fifth nationally with 387 runs scored through April 25 and was in the top 10 in team batting average, team slugging percentage and team on-base percentage.
Stratinsky also added more muscle mass, bringing him to about 210 pounds. Normally, he said, he would lose weight during the school year and get down to about 190.
“I think working out a lot this offseason has helped me hit the ball harder and play better,” he said.
He also said he has stuck with a swing he developed last year that gave him a stronger base.
Stratinsky has shined in other statistical categories as well. As of April 25, he was 17th in RBIs with 51, 21st in runs with 51, 32nd in total bases with 97, and 35th in slugging percentage at .724. He also had a .373 batting average with a .466 on-base percentage.
Playing baseball “ever since I could hold the bat,” Stratinsky gew up to star at Amos Alonzo Stagg High School in Palos Hills.
Along with the competition, he said he likes baseball for its way of creating relationships among players grinding through daily practices.
“McHenry has given me an opportunity to meet some new people and create a bunch of new friendships,” he said. “That is what I look for. This is my favorite team I've ever been on — this year's team and last year's team -- just something about it.”
After his time at MCC, Stratinsky will take his game to Middle Tennessee State in Murfreesboro. Besides enjoying the warmer weather, he plans to continue his assault on baseballs.
“Middle Tennessee has a great field, and I heard the ball can fly down in the South there,” he said. “So I jumped on it when I got the chance.”
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