Prep of the Week: Andrew Phillips

(ABC 6 News) — Do you know how much gall it has to take to four-pitch walk a player with the bases loaded?

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How much respect do you have to have for a batter to do that? That’s what happened to senior outfielder Andrew Phillips in the NRHEG Panthers’ outing against #9 Southland.

“It’s definitely frustrating when all you get is curve balls in at-bats,” Phillips surmised. “But the team is stepping up. They were getting hits, they were all scoring so it didn’t really matter.”

Even though Phillips says he was frustrated, he didn’t look like it. In fact, he had a smile on his face every time he was at the plate.

And that attitude contributes to winning which the Panthers have done plenty of with resume-worthy wins over Hayfield, JWP and the Southland Rebels.

“Yeah, we fly under the radar, because we haven’t had such great success in the past and now the last few years we’ve had some,” Panthers Baseball head coach Mark Lee added. “And we’ve had more success in the playoffs more than the regular season. We just want to always spread the positive cheer and the fact we have a team that doesn’t ever quit and that just spreads down.”

There’s an argument to be made that even walking Phillips isn’t the best bet. Give him an inch and he’ll take off as he’s still a threat while stealing bases. The senior is also savvy in the outfield as well, but the South Dakota State commit may be even better in the dugout.

“Really joyful, really cool guy to be around,” teammate Daxter Lee described. “He’s super determined, that’s why he’s going to SDSU and he’s going to thrive out in SDSU so it’s going to be super fun.”

“Pretty fun,” Jackson Chrz, another teammate, added. “I go to play baseball with him after practice some days at his house. He’s super fun and athletic. He’s just awesome.”

As Phillips closes in on his final days as an NRHEG Panther and student, he continues to keep his cool, lowkey, calm demeanor; never getting too high or low. He and the Panthers have big goals and he’s just taking a simple approach to everything.

“Just go at it day by day, and keep doing our thing every day,” Phillips emphasized. “Keep hitting the ball, making plays defensively. Just go up there and swing the bat. Do what we do. This a great team that we have here. Everybody is family. I can consider everyone a great friend, and it’s going to be hard to leave this family but it’s just a great group of guys.”